Skip to main content

Full text of "The Titan"

See other formats


University of California Berkeley 

From the Collection of 






3* ******** 





















X. A TEST 66 




















































LX. THE NET 526 







WHEN Frank Algernon Cowperwood emerged from the 
Eastern District Penitentiary? in Philadelphia he 
realized that the old life he had lived in that city since 
boyhood was ended. His youth was gone, and with it had 
been lost the great business prospects of his earlier man- 
hood. He must begin again. 

It would be useless to repeat how a second panic following 
upon a tremendous failure that of Jay Cooke & Co. 
had placed a second fortune in his hands. This restored 
wealth softened him in some degree. Fate seemed to have 
his personal welfare in charge. He was sick of the stock- 
exchange, anyhow, as a means of livelihood, and now 
decided that he would leave it once and for all. He would 
get in something else street-railways, land deals, some of 
the boundless opportunities of the far West. Philadelphia 
was no longer pleasing to him. Though now free and rich, 
he was still a scandal to the pretenders, and the financial 
and social world was not prepared to accept him. He 
must go his way alone, unaided, or only secretly so, while 
his quondam friends watched his career from afar. So, 
thinking of this, he took the train one day, his charming 
mistress, now only twenty-six, coming to the station to see 
him off. He looked at her quite tenderly, for she was the 
quintessence of a certain type of feminine beauty. 

"By-by, dearie," he smiled, as the train-bell signaled 
the approaching departure. "You and I will get out of 
this shortly. Don't grieve. I'll be back in two or three 

1 I 


weeks, or I'll send for you. I'd take you now, only I don't 
know how that country is out there. We'll fix on some 
place, and then you watch me settle this fortune question. 
We'll not live under a cloud always. I'll get a divorce, 
and we'll marry, and things will come right with a bang. 
Money will do that." 

He looked at her with his large, cool, penetrating eyes, 
and she clasped his cheeks between her hands. 

"Oh, Frank," she exclaimed, "I'll miss you so! You're 
all I have." 

"In two weeks," he smiled, as the train began to move, 
"I'll wire or be back. Be good, sweet." 

She followed him with adoring eyes a fool of love, a 
spoiled child, a family pet, amorous, eager, affectionate, 
the type so strong a man would naturally like she tossed 
her pretty red gold head and waved him a kiss. Then she 
walked away with rich, sinuous, healthy strides the type 
that men turn to look after. 

"That's her that's that Butler girl," observed one 
railroad clerk to another. "Gee! a man wouldn't want 
anything better than that, would he?" 

It was the spontaneous tribute that passion and envy 
invariably pay to health and beauty. On that pivot 
swings the world. 

Never in all his life until this trip had Cowperwood been 
farther west than Pittsburg. His amazing commercial 
adventures, brilliant as they were, had been almost ex- 
clusively confined to the dull, staid world of Philadelphia 
with its sweet refinement in sections, its pretensions tc 
American social supremacy, its cool abrogation of tradi- 
tional leadership in commercial life, its history, conser- 
vative wealth, unctuous respectability, and all the taste! 
and avocations which these imply. He had, as he recalled 
almost mastered that pretty world and made its sacrec 
precincts his own when the crash came. Practically h< 
had been admitted. Now he was an Ishmael, an ex 
convict, albeit a millionaire. But wait! The race is t( 
the swift, he said to himself over and over. Yes, and th< 
battle is to the strong. He would test whether the work 
would trample him under foot or no. 


Chicago, when it finally dawned on him, came with a rush 
on the second morning. He had spent two nights in the 
gaudy Pullman then provided a car intended to make up 
for some of the inconveniences of its arrangements by an 
over-elaboration of plush and tortured glass when the first 
lone outposts of the prairie metropolis began to appear. 
The side-tracks along the road-bed over which he was 
speeding became more and more numerous, the telegraph- 
poles more and more hung with arms and strung smoky- 
thick with wires. In the far distance, cityward, was, 
here and there, a lone working-man's cottage, the home of 
some adventurous soul who had planted his bare hut thus 
far 'out in order to reap the small but certain advantage 
which the growth of the city would bring. 

The land was flat as flat as a table with a waning 
growth of brown grass left over from the previous year, and 
stirring faintly in the morning breeze. Underneath were 
signs of the new green the New Year's flag of its disposi- 
tion. For some reason a crystalline atmosphere enfolded 
the distant hazy outlines of the city, holding the latter like a 
fly in amber and giving it an artistic subtlety which touched 
him. Already a devotee of art, ambitious for connoisseur- 
ship, who had had his joy, training, and sorrow put of the 
collection he had made and lost in Philadelphia, he ap- 
preciated almost every suggestion of a delightful picture in 

The tracks, side by side, were becoming more and more 
numerous. Freight-cars were assembled here by thousands 
from all parts of the country yellow, red, blue, green, 
white. (Chicago, he recalled, already had thirty railroads 
terminating here, as though it were the end of the world.) 
The little low one and two story houses, quite new as to 
wood, were frequently unpainted and already smoky in 
places grimy. At grade-crossings, where ambling 'street- 
cars and wagons and muddy-wheeled buggies waited, he 
noted how flat the streets were, how unpaved, how sidewalks 
went up and down rhythmically here a flight of steps, 
a veritable platform before a house, there a long stretch of 
boards laid flat on the mud of the prairie itself. What a 
city! Presently a branch of the filthy, arrogant, self- 
sufficient little Chicago River came into view, with its mass 



of sputtering tugs, its black, oily water, its tall, red, brown, 
and green grain-elevators, its immense black coal-pockets 
and yellowish-brown lumber-yards. 

Here was life; he saw it at a flash. Here was a seething 
city in the making. There was something dynamic in the 
very air which appealed to his fancy. How different, for 
some reason, from Philadelphia! That was a stirring city, 
too. He had thought it wonderful at one time, quite a 
world; but this thing, while obviously infinitely worse, 
was better. It was more youthful, more hopeful. In a 
flare of morning sunlight pouring between two coal-pockets, 
and because the train had stopped to let a bridge swing 
and half a dozen great grain and lumber boats go by a 
half-dozen in either direction he saw a group of Irish 
stevedores idling on the bank of a lumber-yard whose wall 
skirted the water. Healthy men they were, in blue or red 
shirt-sleeves, stout straps about their waists, short pipes 
in their mouths, fine, hardy, nutty-brown specimens of 
humanity. Why were they so appealing, he asked himself. 
This raw, dirty town seemed naturally to compose itself 
into stirring artistic pictures. Why, it fairly sang! The 
world was young here. Life was doing something new. 
Perhaps he had better not go on to the Northwest at all; 
he would decide that question later. 

In the mean time he had letters of introduction to dis- 
tinguished Chicagoans, and these he would present. He 
wanted to talk to some bankers and grain and commission 
men. The stock-exchange of Chicago interested him, for 
the intricacies of that business he knew backward and for- 
ward, and some great grain transactions had been made here. 

The train finally rolled past the shabby backs of houses 
into a long, shabbily covered series of platforms sheds 
having only roofs and amidst a clatter of trucks hauling 
trunks, and engines belching steam, and passengers hurry- 
ing to and fro he made his way out into Canal Street and 
hailed a waiting cab one of a long line of vehicles that 
bespoke a metropolitan spirit. He had fixed on the 
Grand Pacific as the most important hotel the one with 
the most social significance and thither he asked to be 
driven. On the way he studied these streets as in the 
matter of art he would have studied a picture. The little 


yellow, blue, green, white, and brown street-cars which he 
saw trundling here and there, the tired, bony horses, 
jingling bells at their throats, touched him. They were 
flimsy affairs, these cars, merely highly varnished kindling- 
wood with bits of polished brass and glass stuck about 
them, but he realized what fortunes they portended if 
the city grew. Street-cars, he knew, were his natural 
vocation. Even more than stock - brokerage, even more 
than banking, even more than stock-organization he loved 
the thought of street-cars and the vast manipulative life it 



nnHE city of Chicago, with whose development the per- 
1 sonality of Frank Algernon Cowperwood was soon to 
be definitely linked ! To whom may the laurels as laureate 
of this Florence of the West vet fall ? This singing flame 
of a city, this all America, this poet in chaps and buck- 
skin, this rude, raw Titan, this Burns of a city! By its 
shimmering lake it lay, a king of shreds and patches, a 
maundering yokel with an epic in its mouth, a tramp, a 
hobo among cities, with the grip of Caesar in its mind, the 
dramatic force of Euripides in its soul. A very bard of a 
city this, singing of high deeds and high hopes, its heavy 
brogans buried deep in the mire of circumstance. Take 
Athens, oh, Greece! Italy, do you keep Rome! This was 
the Babylon, the Troy, the Nineveh of a younger day. 
Here came the gaping West and the hopeful East to see. 
Here hungry men, raw from the shops and fields, idyls and 
romances in their minds, builded them an empire crying 
glory in the mud. 

From New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine had 
come a strange company, earnest, patient, determined, un- 
schooled in even the primer of refinement, hungry for some- 
thing the significance of which, when they had it, they 
could not even guess, anxious to be called great, determined 
so to be without ever knowing how. Here came the 
dreamy gentleman of the South, robbed of his patrimony; 
the hopeful student of Yale and Harvard and Princeton; the 
enfranchised miner of California and the Rockies, his bags 
of gold and silver in his hands. Here was already the bewil- 
dered foreigner, an alien speech confounding him the Hun, 
the Pole, the Swede, the German, the Russian seeking his 
homely colonies, fearing his neighbor of another race. 



Here was the negro, the prostitute, the blackleg, the gam- 
bler, the romantic adventurer par excellence. A city with 
but a handful of the native-born; a city packed to the doors 
with all the riffraff of a thousand towns. Flaring were the 
lights of the bagnio; tinkling the banjos, zithers, mandolins 
of the so-called gin-mill; all the dreams and the brutality of 
the day seemed gathered to rejoice (and rejoice they did) in 
this new-found wonder of a metropolitan life in the West. 

The first prominent Chicagoan whom Cowperwood sought 
out was the president of the Lake City National Bank, the 
largest financial organization in the city, with deposits of 
over fourteen million dollars. It was located in Dearborn 
Street, at Munroe, but a block or two from his hotel. 

"Find out who that man is," ordered Mr. Judah Addison, 
the president of the bank, on seeing him enter the president's 
private waiting-room. 

Mr. Addison's office was so arranged with glass windows 
that he could, by craning his neck, see all who entered his 
reception-room before they saw him, and he had been 
struck by Cowperwood's face and force. Long familiarity 
with the banking world and with great affairs generally had 
given a rich finish to the ease and force which the latter 
naturally possessed. He looked strangely replete for a 
man of thirty-six suave, steady, incisive, with eyes as 
fine as those of a Newfoundland or a Collie and as innocent 
and winsome. They were wonderful eyes, soft and spring- 
like at times, glowing with a rich, human understanding 
which on the instant could harden and flash lightning. 
Deceptive eyes, unreadable, but alluring alike to men and 
to women in all walks and conditions of life. 

The secretary addressed came back with Cowperwood's 
letter of introduction, and immediately Cowperwood followed. 

Mr. Addison instinctively arose a thing he did not 
always do. "I'm pleased to meet you, Mr. Cowperwood," 
he said, politely. "I saw you come in just now. You see 
how I keep my windows here, so as to spy out the country. 
Sit down. You wouldn't like an apple, would you?" He 
opened a left-hand drawer, producing several polished red 
winesaps, one of which he held out. "I always eat one 
about this time in the morning." 



hank you, no," replied Cowperwood, pleasantly, 
I he did so his host's temperament and mental 
caliber. "I never eat between meals, hut I a; 
your kin. 1 am just passing through Chicago, and I 

thought I would present this letter now rather than ! 
I thought you might tell me a little about the city from an 
rment point of view." 

As Cowperwood talked, Addison, a short, heavy, rubi- 
cund man with grayish-brown sideburns extending to his 
ear-lobes and hard, bright, twinkling gray eyes a nroud, 
happy, self-sum*, uru man munched nis apple ana con- 
Mated Cowperwood. As is so often the case in life, he 
frequently likea or disliked people on sight, and he prided 
himself on his judgment of men. Almost foolishly, for one 
so conservative, he was taken with Cowperwood a man 
immensely his superior not because of tne Drexel letter, 
h spoke of the latter's "undoubted financial genius" 
ami the advantage it would be ? ago to have him 

settle there, but because of the swimming wonder of his 
eyes. Cowperwood's personality, while m.tmraming an 
unbroken outward reserve, breathed a tremendous human- 
nest which touched his fellow-banker. Both men were in 
rhnr way walking enigmas, the Philadclphian far the subt- 
ler of the two. Addison was ostensibly a church-member, 
a model he represented a point of view to which 

Cowperwood would never have stooped. Both i\ 
ruthless after their fashion, avid of a pi life; but 

Addison was the weaker in that he was still afraid very 
much afraid of what life might do to him. The man 
before him had no sense of fear. Addison contributed 
judiciously to charity, subscribed outwardly to a dull social 
routine, pretended to love his wife, of whom he was weary, 
and took his human pleasure secretly. The man before 
him subscribed to nothing, refused to talk save to intimates, 
whom he controlled spiritually, and did as he pleased. 

"Why, I'll tell you, Mr. Cowperwood," Addison replied. 
"We people out here in Chicago think so well of ourselves 
that sometimes we're afraid to say all we think for fear of 
appearing a little extravagant. We're like the youngest son 
in the family that knows he can lick all the others, but 
doesn't want to do it not just yet. We're not as hand- 



some as we might be did you ever see a growing boy that 
but we're absolutely sure that we're going to be. 
Our pants and shoes and coat and hat get too small for us 
every six months, and so we don't look very fashionable, 
but there are big, strong, hard muscles and bones under- 
neath, Mr. Cowperwood, as you'll discover when you get 
to looking around. Then you won't mind the clothes so 

Mr. Addison's round, frank eyes narrowed and hardened 
for a moment. A kind of metallic hardness came into his 
voice. Cowperwood could see that he was honestly enam- 
oured of his adopted city. Chicago was his most beloved 
mistress. A moment later the flesh about his eyes crinkled, 
his mouth softened, and he smiled. 'I'll be glad to tell 
you any thin: ." he went on. "There are a lot of 

interesting things to tell." 

Cowperwood beamed back on him encouragingly. He 
inquired after the condition of one industry and another, 
one trade or profession and another. This was some 
different from the atmosphere which prevailed in Phila- 
delphia more breezy and generous. The tendency to 
expatiate and make much of local advantages was Western. 
He liked it, however, as one aspect of life, whether he chose 
are in it or not. It was favorable to his own future. 
He had a prison record to live down; a wife and two children 
to get rid of in the legal sense, at least (he had no desire 
to rid himself of financial obligation toward them). It 
would take some such loose, enthusiastic Western attitude 
to forgive in him the strength and freedom with which he 
ignored and refused to accept for himself current conven- 
/ satisfy mysflf was nis private law, but so to do 
he must assuage and control the prejudices of other men. 
He felt that this banker, while not putty in his hands, was 
icd to a strong and useful friendship. 

"M\ impressions of the city are entirely favorable, Mr. 
Addison," he said, after a time, though he inwardly adm 
to himself that this was not entirely true; he was 
sure whether he could bring himself ultimately to live in 
so excavated and scaffolded a world as this or n-t. " I only 
saw a portion of it coming in on the train. I like the snap 
of things. I believe Chicago has a futu 



"You came over the Fort Wayne, I presume," replied 
Addison, loftily. "You saw the worst section. You must 
let me show you some of the best parts. By the way, where 
are you staying?" 

"At the Grand Pacific." 

"How long will you be here?" 

"Not more than a day or two." 

"Let me see," and Mr. Addison drew out his watch. 
"I suppose you wouldn't mind meeting a few of our leading 
men and we have a little luncheon-room over at the Union 
League Club where we drop in now and then. If you'd 
care to do so, I'd like to have you come along with me at 
one. We're sure to find a few of them some of our lawyers, 
business men, and judges. 

"That will be fine," said the Philadelphia!!, simply. 
"You're more than generous. There are one or two other 
people I want to meet in between, and" he arose and 
looked at his own watch " I'll find the Union Club. Where 
is the office of Arneel & Co.?" 

At the mention of the great beef-packer, who was one 
of the bank's heaviest depositors, Addison stirred slightly 
with approval. This young man, at least eight years his 
junior, looked to him like a future grand seigneur of 

At the Union Club, at this noontime luncheon, after talk- 
ing with the portly, conservative, aggressive Arneel and the 
shrewd director of the stock-exchange, Cowperwood met a 
varied company of men ranging in age from thirty-five to 
sixty-five gathered about the board in a private dining- 
room of heavily carved black walnut, with pictures of elder 
citizens of Chicago on the walls and an attempt at artistry 
in stained glass in the windows. There were short and 
long men, lean and stout, dark and blond men, with eyes 
and jaws which varied from those of the tiger, lynx, and 
bear to those of the fox, the tolerant mastiff, and the surly 
bulldog. There were no weaklings in this selected com- 

Mr. Arneel and Mr. Addison Cowperwood approved of 
highly as shrewd, concentrated men. Another who inter- 
ested him was Anson Merrill, a small, polite, recherche soul, 
suggesting mansions and footmen and remote luxury gen- 



erally, who was pointed out by Addison as the famous dry- 
goods prince of that name, quite the leading merchant, in 
the retail and wholesale sense, in Chicago. 

Still another was a Mr. Rambaud, pioneer railroad man, 
to whom Addison, smiling jocosely, observed: "Mr. Cow- 
perwood is on from Philadelphia, Mr. Rambaud, trying to 
find out whether he wants to lose any money out here. 
Can't you sell him some of that bad land you have up in 
the Northwest?" 

Rambaud a spare, pale, black-bearded man of much 
force and exactness, dressed, as Cowperwood observed, in 
much better taste than some of the others looked at Cow- 
perwood shrewdly but in a gentlemanly, retiring way, with 
a gracious, enigmatic smile. He caught a glance in return 
which he could not possibly forget. The eyes of Cowper- 
wood said more than any words ever could. Instead of 
jesting faintly Mr. Rambaud decided to explain some 
things about the Northwest. Perhaps this Philadelphian 
mijght be interested. 

To a man who has gone through a great life struggle in 
one metropolis and tested all the phases of human duplicity, 
decency, sympathy, and chicanery in the controlling group 
of men that one invariably finds in every American city at 
least, the temperament and significance of another group 
in another city is not so much, and yet it is. Long since 
Cowperwood had parted company with the idea that 
humanity at any angle or under any circumstances, climatic 
or otherwise, is in any way different. To him the most 
noteworthy characteristic of the human race was that it was 
strangely chemic, being anything or nothing, as the hour 
and the condition afforded. In his leisure moments those 
free from practical calculation, which were not many he 
often speculated as to what life really was. If he had not 
been a great financier and, above all, a marvelous organizer 
he might have become a highly individualistic philosopher 
a calling which, if he had thought anything about it at all 
at this time, would have seemed rather trivial. His business 
as he saw it was with the material facts of life, or, rather, 
with those third and fourth degree theorems and syllogisms 
which control material things and so represent wealth. He 
was here to deal with the great general needs of the Middle 



West to seize upon, if he might, certain well-springs of 
wealth and power and rise to recognized authority. In his 
morning talks he had learned of the extent and character of 
the stock-yards' enterprises, of the great railroad and ship 
interests, of the tremendous rising importance of real estate, 
grain speculation, the hotel business, the hardware business. 
He had learned of universal manufacturing companies one 
that made cars, another elevators, another binders, another 
windmills, another engines. Apparently, any new industry 
seemed to do well in Chicago. In his talk with the one di- 
rector of the Board of Trade to whom he had a letter he had 
learned that few, if any, local stocks were dealt in on 'change. 
Wheat, corn, and grains of all kinds were principally 
speculated in. The big stocks of the East were gambled in 
by way of leased wires on the New York Stock Exchange 
not otherwise. 

As he looked at these men, all pleasantly civil, all general 
in their remarks, each safely keeping his vast plans under 
his vest, Cowperwood wondered now he would fare in this 
community. There were such difficult things ahead of him 
to do. No one of these men, all of whom were in their 
commercial-social way agreeable, knew that he had only 
recently been in the penitentiary. How much difference 
would that make in their attitude? No one of them knew 
that, although he was married and had two children, he was 
planning to divorce his wife and marry the girl who had 
appropriated to herself the role which his wife had once 

"Are you seriously contemplating looking into the North- 
west?" asked Mr. Rambaud, interestedly, toward the close 
of the luncheon. 

"That is my present plan after I finish here. I thought 
I'd take a short run up there." 

"Let me put you in touch with an interesting party that 
is going as far as Fargo and Duluth. There is a private 
car leaving Thursday, most of them citizens of Chicago, but 
some Easterners. I would be glad to have you join us. 
I am going as far as Minneapolis." 

Cowperwood thanked him and accepted. A long con- 
versation followed about the Northwest, its timber, wheat, 
land sales, cattle, and possible manufacturing plants. 


What Fargo, Minneapolis, and Duluth were to be civically 
and financially were the chief topics of conversation. 
Naturally, Mr. Rambaud, having under his direction vast 
railroad lines which penetrated this region, was confident 
of the future of it. Cowperwood gathered it all, almost by 
instinct. Gas, street-railways, land speculations, banks, 
wherever located, were his chief thoughts. 

Finally he left the club to keep his other appointments, 
but something of his personality remained behind him. 
Mr. Addison and Mr. Rambaud, among others, were sin- 
cerely convinced that he was one of the most interesting 
men they had met in years. And he scarcely had said any- 
thing at all just listened. 



A^TER his first visit to the bank over which Addison 
presided, and an informal dinner at the latter's home, 
Cowperwood had decided that he did not care to sail under 
any false colors so far as Addison was concerned. He was 
too influential and well connected. Besides, Cowperwood 
liked him too much. Seeing that the man's leaning 
ard him was strong in reality a fascination, he made an 
early morning call .1 day or two after he had returned from 
o, whither he had gone at Mr. Rambaud's suggestion, 
on his way back to Philadelphia, determined to volunteer 
a smooth pr< M of his earlier misfortunes, and trust 

to Addison's interest to make him view the matter in a 
kindly light. He told him the whole story of how he had 
been convicted of technical embezzlement in Philadelphia 
and had served out his term in the Kastern Penitent 
He also mentioned his divorce and his intention of marrying 

Addison, who was the weaker man of the two and yet 
forceful in his own way, admired this courageous stand on 
Cowperwood's part. It was a braver thing than he himself 
could or would have achieved. It appealed to his sense 
of the dramatic. Here was a man who apparent lv had 
been dragged down to the very bottom of things, his face 
forced in the mire, and now he was coming up again strong, 
hopeful, urgent. The banker knew many highly respected 
men in Chicago whose early careers, as he was well aware, 
would not bear too close an inspection, but nothing 
thought of that. Some of them w< n in society, some not, 
but all of them were powerful. Why should not Cowper- 
wood be allowed to begin all over? He looked at him 



steadily, at his eyes, at his stocky body, at his smooth, 
handsome, mustached face. Then he held out his hand. 

"Mr. Cowperwood," he said, finally, trying to shape his 
words appropriately, "I needn't say that I am pleased with 
this interesting confession. It appeals to me. I'm glad 
you have made it to me. You needn't say any more at 
any time. I decided the day I saw you walking into that 
vestibule that you were an exceptional man; now I know 
it. You needn t apologize to me. I haven't lived in this 
world fifty years and more without having my eye-teeth 
cut. You're welcome to the courtesies of this bank and of 
mv house as long as you care to avail yourself of them. 
We'll cut our cloth as circumstances dictate in the future. 
I'd like to see you come to Chicago, solely because I like 
you personally. If you decide to settle here I'm sure I can 
be ot service to you and you to me. Don't think anything 
more about it; I sha'n't ever say anything one way or 
another. You have your own battle to fight, and I wish 
you luck. You'll get all the aid from me I can honestly 
give you. Just forget that you told me, and when you 
<>ur matrimonial affairs straightened out bring your 
wife out to see us." 

With these things completed Cowperwood took the train 
hark to Philadelphia. 

"Aileen," he said, when these two met again she had 
come to the train to meet him "I think the West is the 
answer for us. I went up to Fargo and looked around up 
tin re, hut I don't believe \M- %%ant to go that far. There's 
nothing hut prairie-grass and Indians out in that country. 
H'.w'd you like to live in a board shanty, Aileen," he 
asked, hantrringly, "with nothing but fn< J rattlesnake -s 
and prairie-dogs for breakfast? Do you think you could 
stand th 

"Yes," she replied, gaily, hugging his arm, for they had 
entered a closed carriage; 'I ^-uld stand it if you could. 
I'd go anywhere with you, Frank. I'd get me a nice 
Indian dress with leather and beads all over it and a 
feather hat like they wear, and " 

"There you go! Certainly! Pretty clothes first of all 
in a miner's shack. That's the way." 



"You wouldn't love me long if I didn't put pretty clothes 
first," she replied, spiritedly. "Oh, I'm so glad to get you 

"The trouble is," he went on, "that that country up 
there isn't as promising as Chicago. I think we're destined 
to live in Chicago. I made an investment in Fargo, and 
we'll have to go up there from time to time, but we'll 
eventually locate in Chicago. I don't want to go out there 
alone again. It isn't pleasant for me." He squeezed her 
hand. " If we can't arrange this thing at once I'll just have 
to introduce you as my wife for the present." 

"You haven't heard anything more from Mr. Steger?" 
she put in. She was thinking of Steger's efforts to get Mrs: 
Cowperwood to grant him a divorce. 

"Not a word.* 

"Isn't it too bad?" she sighed. 

"Well, don't grieve. Things might be worse." 

He was thinking of his days in the penitentiary, and so 
was she. After commenting on the character of Chicago 
he decided with her that so soon as conditions permitted 
they would remove themselves to the Western city. 

It would be pointless to do more than roughly sketch 
the period of three years during which the various changes 
which saw the complete elimination of Cowperwood from 
Philadelphia and his introduction into Chicago took place. 
For a time there were merely journeys to and fro, at first 
more especially to Chicago, then to Fargo, where his trans- 
ported secretary, Walter Whelpley, was managing under 
nis direction the construction of Fargo business blocks, a 
short street-car line, and a fair-ground. This interesting 
venture bore the title of the Fargo Construction and 
Transportation Company, of which Frank A. Cowperwood 
was president. His Philadelphia lawyer, Mr. Harper 
Steger, was for the time being general master of contracts. 

For another short period he might have been found living 
at the Tremont in Chicago, avoiding for the time beinp, 
because of Aileen's company, anything more than a nodding 
contact with the important men he had first met, while he 
looked quietly into the matter of a Chicago brokerage 
arrangement a partnership with some established broke r 
who, without too much personal ambition, would bring him 



a knowledge of Chicago Stock Exchange affairs, personages, 
and Chicago ventures. On one occasion he took Aileen 
with him to Fargo, where with a haughty, bored insou- 
ciance she surveyed the state of the growing city. 

"Oh, Frank!" she exclaimed, when she saw the plain, 
wooden, four-story hotel, the long, unpleasing business 
street, with its motley collection of frame and brick stores, 
the gaping stretches of houses, facing in most directions 
unpaved streets. Aileen in her tailored, spick-and-span- 
ness, her self-conscious vigor, vanity, and tendency to over- 
ornament, was a strange contrast to the rugged self-efface- 
ment and indifference to personal charm which characterized 
most of the men and women of this new metropolis. "You 
didn't seriously think of coming out here to live, did you?" 

She was wondering where her chance for social exchange 
would come in her opportunity to shine. Suppose her 
Frank were to be very rich; suppose he did make very 
much money much more than he had ever had even in the 
past what good would it do her here? In Philadelphia, 
before his failure, before she had been suspected of the 
secret liaison with him, he had been beginning (at least) to 
entertain in a very pretentious way. If she had been his 
wife then she might have stepped smartly into Philadelphia 
society. Out here, good gracious! She turned up her 
pretty nose in disgust. "What an awful place!" was her 
one comment at this most stirring of Western boom towns. 

When it came to Chicago, however, and its swirling, in- 
creasing life, Aileen was much interested. Between at- 
tending to many financial matters Cowperwood saw to it 
that she was not left alone. He asked ner to shop in the 
local stores and tell him about them; and this she did, 
driving around in an open carriage, attractively arrayed, a 
great brown hat emphasizing her pink-and-white complexion 
and red-gold hair. On different afternoons of their stay he 
took her to drive over the principal streets. When Aileen 
was permitted for the first time to see the spacious beauty 
and richness of Prairie Avenue, the North Shore Drive, 
Michigan Avenue, and the new mansions on Ashland 
Boulevard, set in their grassy spaces, the spirit, aspira- 
tions, hope, tang of the future Chicago began to work in 
her blood as it had in Cowperwood's. All of these rich 



homes were so very new. The great people of Chicago were 
all newly rich like themselves. She forgot that as yet she 
was not Cowperwood's wife; she felt herself truly to be so. 
The streets, set in most instances with a pleasing creamish- 
brown flagging, lined with young, newly planted trees, the 
lawns sown to smooth green grass, the windows of the 
houses trimmed with bright awnings and hung with intricate 
lace, blowing in a June breeze, the roadways a gray, gritty 
macadam all these things touched her fancy. On one 
drive they skirted the lake on the North Shore, and Aileen, 
contemplating the chalky, bluish-green waters, the distant 
sails, the gulls, and then the new bright homes, reflected 
that in all certitude she would some day be the mistress of 
one of these splendid mansions. How naughtily she would 
carry herself; how she would dress! They would have a 
splendid house, much finer, no doubt, than Frank's old one 
in Philadelphia, with a great ball-room and dining-room 
where she could give dances and dinners, and where Frank 
and she would receive as the peers of these Chicago rich 

44 Do you suppose we will ever have a house as fine as one 
of these, Frank r" she asked him, longingly. 

"I'll tell you what my plan is," he said. 44 If you like 
this Michigan Avenue section we'll buy a piece of property 
out here now and hold it. Just as soon as I make the right 
connections here and see what I am going to do we'll build 
a house something really nice don't worry. I want to 
his divorce matter settled, and then we'll oegin. Mem- 
while, if we have to come here, we'd better live rather 
quietly. Don't you think to?" 

It was now between five and six, that richest portion of a 
summer day. It had been very warm, but was now cool- 
ing, the shade of the western building-line shadowing the 
roadway, a moted, wine-like air rilling the street. As far 
as the eye could see were carriages, the one great 
diversion of Chicago, because there was otherwise so little 
opportunity for many to show that they had means. The 
social forces were not as yet clear or harmonious. Jingling 
harnesses of nickel, silver, and even plated gold were the 
sign manual of social hope, if not of achievement. Here 
sped homeward from the city from office and manufactory 



along this one exceptional southern highway, the Via 
Appia of the South Side, all the urgent aspirants to notable 
fortunes. Men of wealth who had met onlv casually in 
trade here nodded to each other. Smart daughters, society- 
bred sons, handsome wives came down-town in traps, 
Victorias, carriages, and vehicles of the latest design to 
drive home their trade-weary fathers or brothers, relatives 
or friends. The air was gay with a social hope, a promise 
of youth and affection, and that fine flush of material life 
that recreates itself in delight. Lithe, handsome, well-bred 
animals, singly and in jingling pairs, paced each other 
down the long, wide, grass-lined street, its fine homes 
agleam with a rich, complaisant materiality. 

"Oh!" exclaimed Aileen, all at once, seeing the vigorous, 
forceful men, the handsome matrons, and young women and 
boys, the nodding and the bowing, feeling a touch of the 
romance and wonder of it all. "I should like to live in 
Chicago. I believe it's nicer than Philadelphia." 

Cowperwood, who had fallen so low there, despite his 
immense capacity, set his teeth in two even rows. His 
handsome mustache seemed at this moment to have an 
especially defiant curl. The pair he was driving was 
physically perfect, lean and nervous, with spoiled, petted 
faces. He could not endure poor horse-flesn. He drove 
ily a horse-lover can, his body bojt upright, his own 
energy and temperament animating his animals. Aileen 
sat beside him, very proud, consciously erect. 

"Isn't she beautiful?" some of the women observed, as 
p.issed,going north. "What a stunning young wom- 
an!" thought or said the men. 

"Did you see her?" asked a young brother of his sister. 

* Never mind, Aileen," commented Cowperwood, with 
that iron determination that brooks no defeat. "We will 
part of this. Don't fret. You will have everything 
you want in Chicago, and more besides." 

There was tingling over his fingers, into the reins, into 
the horses, a mysterious vibrating current that was his 
chemical product, the off-giving of his spirit battery that 
made his hired horses prance like children. They chafed 
and tossed their heads and snorted. 

Aileen was fairly bursting with hope and vanity and 


longing. Oh, to be Mrs. Frank Algernon Cowperwood here 
in Chicago, to have a splendid mansion, to have her <. 
of in ictically commands which might not be 

ignored ! 

"Oh, dear!" she sighed to herself, mentally. "If only 
it were all true now." 

It is thus that life at its topmost toss irks and p. 
Beyond is ever the unattainable, the lure of the infinite 
with its infinite ache. 

"Oh, life! oh, youth! oh, hope! oh, years! 
Oh pain-winged fancy, beating forth with fears." 



THE partnership which Cowperwood eventually made 
with an old-time Board of Trade operator, Peter 
Laughlin, was eminently to his satisfaction. Lauchlin 
a tall, gaunt speculator who had spent most of nis living 
days in Chicago, having come there as a boy from western 
Missouri. He was a typical Chicago Board of Trade 
operator of the old school, having an Andrew Jacksonish 
countenance, and a Henry Clay Davy Crockett "Long 
John" Wcntworth build of body. 

Cowpcrwood from his youth up had had a curious 
interest in Quaint characters, and he was interesting to 
them; they 'took" to him. He could, if he chose to take 
the trouble, fit himself in with the odd psychology of almost 
.in; individual. In his early peregrinations in La Salle 
Street he inquired after clever traders on 'change, and then 
gave them one small commission after another in order to 
get acquainted. Thus he stumbled one morning on old 
Peter Laughlm, wheat and corn trader, who had an office 
in I..i S.ilU- Street near Madison, and who did a modest 
business gambling for himself and others in grain and 
Eastern railway shares. Laughlin was a shrewd, canny 
American, originally, perhaps, of Scotch extraction, who 
had all the traditional American blemishes of uncouthness, 
tobacco-chewing, profanity, and other small vices. Cow- 
perwood could tell from looking at him that he must have a 
fund of information concerning every current Chicagoan 
of importance, and this fact alone was certain to be of value. 
Then the old man was direct, plain-spoken, simple-appear- 
ing, and wholly unpretentious qualities which Cowpcrwood 
deemed invaluable. 

Once or twice in the last three years Laughlin had lost 



!v on private "corners" that he had attempted to 
engineer, and the general feeling was that he was now 
becoming cautious, or, in other words, afraid. "Just the 
man," Cowperwood thought. So one morning he called 
upon Laughlin, intending to open a small account with him. 

"Henry," he heard the old man say, as he entered 
Laughlin s fair-sized hut rather dusty office, to a young, 
pretematurally solemn-looking clerk, a fit assi 
Peter Laugh! me them there Pittsburg and Lake 

Eric sheers, will you?" Seeing Cowperwood waiting, he 
added, "What kin I do for > 

Cowperwood smiled. "So he calls them 'sheers,' does 
<Jood! I think I'll like h 

He introduced himself as coming from I hin, 

and went v that he was interested in various Chicago 

venturev. i any good stock which w> 

rise, and particularly desirous to I some cprpor. 

public utility preferred which would be certain to grow 
with the expansion of the c 

Old Laughlin, who was now all of sixty years of age, 
owned a seat on the Board, and was worth in the neip) 
hood of two hundred thousand dollars, looked at Cowper- 
wood quizzically. 

"Well, now, ! 'a* come along here ten or fifteen 

years ago you might 'a* got in nd floor < 

things," he observed. "There was these here gas comp.i them Otway and A p person boys g< . and 

thm all these here stre< vs. Why, I'm the feller 

that .it a fine thing he could make 

' it if he would go and orgam. i State S 

line. He promised me a bunch of sheers if he ever worked 
it out, hut he n< iidn't expect him 

:hnu c h," he added, wisely, and with a plint. "I'm 
too ' it now, anyway. 

That Michaels -Kennelly crowd skinned him. 
'a* been here ten or t'r- .rs ago you might 'a got in on 

that. Tain't no use a-thinkin' about that, though, any 
more. Them sheers is sellin' fer clost onto a hundred and 

CbWperwood smiled. "Well. Mr. Lau c hlin." he ob- 
served, "you must have been on 'change a long time here. 

You seem to know a good deal of what has gone on in the 

"Yep, ever since 1852," replied the old man. He had a 
thick growth of upstanding hair looking not unlike a 
rooster s comb, a long and what threatened eventually to 
become a Punch-and-Judy chin, a slightly aquiline nose, 
high cheek-bones, and hollow, brown-skinned cheeks. His 

were as clear and sharp as those of a lynx. 
"To tell you the truth, Mr. Laughlin," went on Cowper- 
wood, "what I'm really out here in Chicago for is to find 
a man with whom I can go into partnership in the broker- 
age business. Now I'm in the banking and brokerage 

icss myself in the East. 1 have a firm in Philadelphia 
and a seat on both the New York and Philadelphia ex- 
changes. I have some affairs in Fargo also. Any trade 
agency can tell you about me. You have a Board of 'I 

here, and no doubt you do some New York and Phila- 
delphia exchange business. The new turn, it' you would 
D with me, could handle it all d I'm a rather 

strong outside man myself. I'm thinking of locating per- 
manently in Chicago. What would you say now to going 
int.. business with me? Do you think we could get along in 
the same office space?" 

Cowperwood had a way, when he wanted to be pleasant, 
of beating the fingers of his two hands together, finger for 

;, tip for tip. He also smiled at the same time or, 

r, beamed his eyes glowing with a warm, magnetic, 
seemingly ait 

As it happened, old Peter Laughlin had arrived at 

psychological moment when he was wishing that some 

opportunity as this might appear and be available. 

as a lonely man. never having been able to bring him- 
> trust his peculiar temperament in the hands of any As a matter of fact, he had never understood 

rn at all, his relations being confined to those sad 
imm lie cheapest character whi money could buy. He lived in 

smal! in West Harrison Street, near Throup, when 

he cooked his own meals at times. His one companmi 
a small spaniel, simple and affectionate, a she dog, Jennie by 
name, with whom he slept. Jennie was 1 docile, loving 


companion, waiting for him patiently by day in his office 
until he was ready to go home at night. He talked to this 
spaniel quite as he would to a human being (even more 
intimately, perhaps), taking the dog's glances, tail-waggings, 
and general movements for answer. In the morning when 
he arose, which was often as early as half past four, or even 
four he was a brief sleeper he would begin by pulling 
on his trousers (he seldom bathed any more except at a 
down-town barber shop) and talking to Jennie. 

j"Git up, now, Jinnie," he would say. "It's time to git 

up. We've got to make our coffee now and git some break- 

I can see yuh, lyin' there, pertendin' to be asleep. 

Come on, now! You've had sleep enough. You've been 

sleepin* as lone as I have." 

Jennie would be watching him out of the corner of one 
loving eye, her tail tap-tapping on the bed, her free ear 
going up and down. 

When he was fully dressed, his face and hands washed, his 
old string tie pulled around into a loose and convenient 
knot, his hair brushed upward, Jennie would get up and 
jump demonstratively about, as much as to say, "You see 
now prompt I am." 

"That's the way," old Laughlin would comment. " Allers 
Yuh never git up first, do yuh, Jinnie? Allers let yer 
old man do that, don't your" 

On bitter days, when the car-wheels squeaked and one's 
ears and fingers seemed to be in danger of freezing, old 
Laughlin, arrayed in a heavy, dusty greatcoat of an 

<ge and a square hat, would carry Jennie down-town 
in a greenish-black bag along with some of his beloved 
"sheers" which he was meditating on. Only then could he 
take Jennie in the cars. On other days they would walk, 
for he liked exercise. He would get to his office as ear! 
seven-thirty or eight, though business did not usually 1 
until after nine, and remain until four-thirty or five, reading 
the papers or calculating during the hours when there were 
no customers. Then he would take Jennie and go for a 
walk or to call on some business acquaintance. His home 
room, the newspapers, the floor of the exchange, his offices, 
and the streets were his only resources. He cared nothing 
for plays, books, pictures, music and for women only in 


his one-angled, mentally impoverished way. His limita- 
tions were so marked that to a lover of character like 
Cowpenvood he was fascinating but Cowperwood only 
used character. He never idled over it long artistically. 

As Cowperwood suspected, what old Laughlin did not 
know about Chicago financial conditions, deals, opportuni- 
ties, and individuals was scarcely worth knowing. Being 
only a trader by instinct, neither an organizer nor an 
executive, he had never been able to make any great con- 
structive use of his knowledge. His gains and his losses 
he took with reasonable equanimity, exclaiming over and 
over, when he lost: "Shucks! I hadn't orter have done 
that/' and snapping his fingers. When he won heavily 
or was winning he munched tobacco with a seraphic smile 
and occasionally in the midst of trading would exclaim: 
"You fellers better come in. It's a-gonta rain some more." 
He was not easy to trap in any small gambling game, and 
only lost or won when there was a free, open struggle in the 
market, or when he was engineering some little scheme of 
his own. 

The matter of this partnership was not arranged at once, 
although it did not take long. Old Peter Laughlin wanted 
to think it over, although he had immediately developed a 
personal fancy for Cowperwood. In a way he was the 
tatter's victim and servant from the start. They met day 
after day to discuss various details and terms; finally, true 
to his instincts, old Peter demanded a full half interest. 

"Now, you don't want that much, Laughlin," Cowper- 
wood suggested, quite blandly. They were sitting in 
Laughlin's private office between four and five in the after- 
noon, and Laughlin was chewing tobacco with the sense of 
having a fine, interesting problem before him. "I have a 
seat on the New York Stock Exchange," he went on, "and 
that's worth forty thousand dollars. My seat on the 
Philadelphia exchange is worth more than yours here. . They 
will naturally figure as the principal assets of the firm. 
It's to be in your name. I'll be liberal with you, though. 
Instead of a third, which would be fair, I'll make it forty- 
nine per cent., and we'll call the firm Peter Laughlin & 
Co. I like you, and I think you can be of a lot of use 
to me. I know you will make more money through me 



than you have alone. I could go in with a lot of these 
silk-stocking fellows around here, but I don't want to. 
You'd better decide right now, and let's get to work." 

Old Laughlin was pleased beyond measure that young 
Cowperwood should want to go in with him. He had 
become aware of late that all of the young, smug new- 
comers on 'change considered him an old fogy. Here was 
a strong, brave young Easterner, twenty years his junior, 
evidently as shrewd as himself more so, he feared who 
actually proposed a business alliance. Besides, Cowper- 
wood, in his young, healthy, aggressive way, was like a 
breath of spring. 

" I ain't keerin' so much about the name," rejoined Laugh- 
lin. "You can fix it that-a-way if you want to. Givin' 
you fifty-one per cent, gives you charge of this here shebang. 
All right, though; I ain't a-kickin'. I guess I can manage 
allus to git what's a-comin' to me." 

"It's a bargain, then," said Cowperwood. "We'll want 
new offices, Laughlin, don't you think? This one's a little 

"Fix it up any way you like, Mr. Cowperwood. It's all 
the same to me. I'll be glad to see how yer do it." 

In a week the details were completed, and two weeks later 
the sign of Peter Laughlin & Co., grain and commission 
merchants, appeared over the door of a handsome suite of 
rooms on the ground floor of a corner at La Salle and 
Madison, in the heart of the Chicago financial district. 

"Get onto old Laughlin, will you?" one broker observed 
to another, as they passed the new, pretentious commission- 
house with its splendid plate-glass windows, and observed 
the heavy, ornate bronze sign placed on either side of the 
door, which was located exactly on the corner. "What's 
struck him? I thought he was almost all through. Who's 
the Company?" 

"I don't know. Some fellow from the East, I think." 

"Well, he's certainly moving up. Look at the plate 
glass, will you?" 

It was thus that Frank Algernon Cowperwood's Chicago 
financial career was definitely launched. 



IF any one fancies for a moment that this commercial 
move on the part of Cowperwood was either hasty or 
ill-considered they but little appreciate the incisive, appre- 
hensive psychology of the man. His thoughts as to life 
and control (tempered and hardened by thirteen months 
of reflection in the Eastern District Penitentiary) had given 
him a fixed policy. He could, should, and would rule alone. 
No man must ever again have the least claim on him save 
that of a suppliant. He wanted no more dangerous com- 
binations such as he had had with Stener, the man through 
whom he had lost so much in Philadelphia, and others. By 
right of financial intellect and courage he was first, and 
would so prove it. Men must swing around him as planets 
around the sun. 

Moreover, since his fall from grace in Philadelphia he had 
come to think that never again, perhaps, could he hope to 
become socially acceptable in the sense in which the so- 
called best society of a city interprets the phrase; and 
pondering over this at odd moments, he realized that his 
future allies in all probability would not be among the 
rich and socially important the clannish, snobbish ele- 
ments of society but among the beginners and financially 
strong men who had come or were coming up from the 
bottom, and who had no social hopes whatsoever. There 
were many such. If through luck and effort he became 
sufficiently powerful financially he might then hope to 
dictate to society. Individualistic and even anarchistic 
in character, and without a shred of true democracy, yet 
temperamentally he was in sympathy with the mass more 
than he was with the class, and he understood the mass 
better. Perhaps this, in a way, will explain his desire to 



connect himself with a personality so naive and strange as 
Peter Laughlin. He had annexed him as a surgeon selects 
a special knife or instrument for an operation, and, shrewd 
as old Laughlin was, he was destined to be no more than 
a tool in Cowperwood's strong hands, a mere hustling 
messenger, content to take orders from this swiftest of 
moving brains. For the present Cowperwood was satisfied 
to do business under the firm name of Peter Laughlin & 
Co. as a matter of fact, he preferred it; for he could thus 
keep himself sufficiently inconspicuous to avoid undue 
attention, and gradually work out one or two coups by 
which he hoped to firmly fix himself in the financial future 
of Chicago. 

As the most essential preliminary to the social as well 
as the financial establishment of himself and Aileen in 
Chicago, Harper Steger, Cowperwood's lawyer, was doing 
his best all this while to ingratiate himself in the confidence 
of Mrs. Cowperwood, who nad no faith in lawyers any more 
than she had in her recalcitrant husband. She was now a 
tall, severe, and rather plain woman, but still bearing the 
marks of the former passive charm that had once interested 
Cowperwood. Notable crows'-feet had come about the 
corners of her nose, mouth, and eyes. She had a remote, 
censorious, subdued, self-righteous, and even injured air. 

The cat-like Steger, who had all the graceful contempla- 
tive air of a prowling Tom, was just the person to deal 
with her. A more suavely cunning and opportunistic soul 
never was. His motto might well have been, speak softly 
and step lightly. 

"My dear Mrs. Cowperwood," he argued, seated in her 
modest West Philadelphia parlor one spring afternoon, 
"I need not tell you what a remarkable man your husband 
is, nor how useless it is to combat him. Admitting all his 
faults and we can agree, if you please, that they are many" 
Mrs. Cowperwood stirred with irritation "still it is 
not worth while to attempt to hold him to a strict account. 
You know" and Mr. Steger opened his thin, artistic hands 
in a deprecatory way "what sort of a man Mr. Cowper- 
wood is, and whether he can be coerced or not. I 
not an ordinary man, Mrs. Cowperwood. No man could 
have gone through what he has and be where he is to-day, 



and be an average man. If you take my advice you will 
let him go his way. Grant him a divorce. He is willing, 
even anxious to make a definite provision for you and your 
children. He will, I am sure, look liberally after their 
future. But he is becoming very irritable over your unwill- 
ingness to give him a legal separation, and unless you do 
I am very much afraid that the whole matter will be 
thrown into the courts. If, before it comes to that, I 
could effect an arrangement agreeable to you, I would be 
much pleased. As you know, I have been greatly grieved 
by the whole course of your recent affairs. I am intensely 
sorry that things are as they are." 

Mr. Steger lifted his eyes in a very pained, deprecatory 
way. He regretted deeply the shifty currents of this 
troubled world. 

Mrs. Cowperwood for perhaps the fifteenth or twentieth 
time heard him to the end in patience. Cowperwood 
would not return. Steger was as much her friend as 
any other lawyer would be. Besides, he was socially 
agreeable to her. Despite his Machiavellian profession, 
she half believed him. He went over, tactfully, a score 
of additional points. Finally, on the twenty -first visit, 
and with seemingly great distress, he told her that her 
husband had decided to break with her financially, to 
pay no more bills, and do nothing until his responsibility 
had been fixed by the courts, and that he, Steger, was 
about to retire from the case. Mrs. Cowperwood felt 
that she must yield; she named her ultimatum. If he 
would fix two hundred thousand dollars on her and the 
children (this was Cowperwood's own suggestion) and 
later on do something commercially for their only son, 
Frank, junior, she would let him go. She disliked to 
do it. She knew that it meant the triumph of Aileen 
Butler, such as it was. But, after all, that wretched creature 
had been properly disgraced in Philadelphia. It was not 
likely she could ever raise her head socially anywhere any 
more. She agreed to file a plea which Steger would draw 
up for her, and by that oily gentleman's machinations it 
was finally wormed through the local court in the most 
secret manner imaginable. The merest item in three of 
the Philadelphia papers some six weeks later reported 



that a divorce had been granted. When Mrs. Cowperwood 
it she wondered greatly that so little attention had 
been attracted by it. She had feared a much more extended 
comment. She little knew the cat-like prowlings, legal and 
journalistic, of her husband's interesting counsel. When 
Cowperwood read it on one of his visits to Chicago he 
heaved a sigh of relief. At last it was really true. Now he 
could make Aileen his wife. He teleeraphed her an enig- 
matic message of congratulation. When Aileen read it 
she thrilled from head to foot. Now, shortly, she would 
become the legal bride of Frank Algernon Cowperwood, 
the newly enfranchised Chicago financier, .md then 

"Oh," she said, in her Philadelphia home, when she 
read it, "isn't that splendid! Now I'll be Mrs. Cowper- 
wood. Oh, dear!" 

Mrs. Frank Algernon Cowperwood number one, thinking 
over her husband's liaison, failure, imprisonment, \ 
tcchnic operations at the time of the Jay Cooke failure, 
and his present J ascendancy, wondered at the 

ery of life. There must be a Goa. The Bible said so. 
husband, evil though he was, could not be utterly bad, 
for he had made ample provision for her, and the children 
liked him. Certainly, at the time of the criminal pr 
tion he was no worse than some < ho had gone free. 

Yet he had been convicted, and she was sorry for that and 
had always been. He was an able and ruthless man. She 
hardly knew what to think. The one person she really did 
blame was the wretched, vain, empty-headed, ungodly 
Aileen Butler, who had been his seductress and was prob- 
ably now to be his wife. God would punish her, no doubt. 
He must. So she went to church on Sundays and tried 
to believe, come what might, that all was for the best. 



THE day Cowperwood and Aileen were married it 
was in an obscure village called Dalston, near Pitts- 
burg, in western Pennsylvania, where they had stopped 
off to manage this matter he had said to her: "I want 
to tell you, dear, that you and I are really beginning life 
all over. Now it depends on how well we play this game 
as to how well we succeed. If you will listen to me we 
won't try to do anything much socially in Chicago for the 
present. Of course we'll have to meet a few people. That 
can't be avoided. Mr. and Mrs. Addison are anxious to 
meet you, and I've delayed too lone in that matter as it is. 
But what I mean is that I don't believe it's advisable to 
push this social exchange too far. People are sure to begin 
to make inquiries if we do. My plan is to wait a little 
while and then build a really fine house so that we won't 
need to rebuild. We're going to go to Europe next spring, 
if things go ripht, and we may get some ideas over there. 
I'm poinp to put in a good big gallery," he concluded. 
"While we're traveling we might as well see what we can 
find in the way of pictures and so on." 

AiK thrilling with anticipation. "Oh, Frank," 

she said to him, quite ecstatically, "you're so wonderful! 
You do everything you want, don't you?" 

quite," he said, deprecatingly; "but it isn't for not 
wanting to. Chance has a little to say about some of these 
things, Aileen." 

She stood in front of him, as she often did, her plump, 
rini^cd hands on his shoulders, and looked into those 
steady, lucid pools his eyes. Another man, less leonine, 
and with all his shifting thoughts, might have had to con- 
tend with the handicap of a shifty gaze; he fronted the 


queries and suspicions of the world with a seeming candor 
that was as disarming as that of a child. The truth was he 
believed in himself, and himself only, and thence sprang his 
courage to think as he pleased. Aileen wondered, but 
could get no answer. 

" Oh, you big tiger!" she said. "You great, big lion! 

He pinched her cheek and smiled. "Poor Aileen!" he 
thought. She little knew the unsolvable mystery that he 
was even to himself to himself most of all. 

Immediately after their marriage Cowperwood and Aileen 
journeyed to Chicago direct, and took the best rooms that 
the Tremont provided, for the time being. A little later 
they heard of a comparatively small furnished house at 
Twenty-third and Michigan Avenue, which, with horses 
and carriages thrown in, was to be had for a season or two on 
lease. They contracted for it at once, installing a butler, 
servants, and the general service of a well-appointed home. 
Here, because he thought it was only courteous, and not 
because he thought it was essential or wise at this time 
to attempt a social onslaught, he invited the Addisons and 
one or two others whom he felt sure would come Alexander 
Rambaud, president of the Chicago & Northwestern, and 
his wife, and Taylor Lord, an architect whom he had re- 
cently called into consultation and whom he found socially 
acceptable. Lord, like the Addisons, was in society, but 
only as a minor figure. 

Trust Cowperwood to do the thing as it should be done. 
The place they had leased was a charming little gray-stone 
house, with a neat flight of granite, balustraded steps 
leading up to its wide-arched door, and a judicious use of 
stained glass to give its interior an artistically subdued 
atmosphere. Fortunately, it was furnished in good taste. 
Cowperwood turned over the matter of the dinner to a 
caterer and decorator. Aileen had nothing to do but dress, 
and wait, and look her best. 

"I needn't tell you," he said, in the morning, on leaving, 
"that I want you to look nice to-night, pet. I want the 
Addisons and Mr. Rambaud to like you." 

A hint was more than sufficient for Aileen, though really 
it was not needed. On arriving at Chicago she had sought 



and discovered a French maid. Although she had brought 
plenty of dresses from Philadelphia, she had been having 
additional winter costumes prepared by the best and most 
expensive mistress of the art in Chicago Theresa Donovan. 
Only the day before she had welcomed home a golden-yellow 
silk under heavy green lace, which, with her reddish-gold 
hair and her white arms and neck, seemed to constitute an 
unusual harmony. Her boudoir on the night of the dinner 
presented a veritable riot of silks, satins, laces, lingerie, hair 
ornaments, perfumes, jewels anything and everything 
which might contribute to the feminine art of being beauti- 
ful. Once in the throes of a toilet composition, Aileen 
invariably became restless and energetic, almost fidgety, 
and her maid, Fadette, was compelled to move quickly. 
Fresh from her bath, a smooth, ivory Venus, she worked 
quickly through silken lingerie, stockings and shoes, to 
her hair. Fadette had an idea to suggest for the hair. 
Would Madame let her try a new swirl she had seen? 
Madame would yes. So there were movings of her mass 
of rich glinting tresses this way and that. Somehow it 
would not do. A braided effect was then tried, and in- 
stantly discarded; finally a double looping, without braids, 
low over the forehead, caught back with two dark-green 
bands, crossing like an X above the center of her forehead 
and fastened with a diamond sunburst, served admirably. 
In her filmy, lacy boudoir costume of pink silk Aileen 
stood up and surveyed herself in the full-length mirror. 

"Yes," she said, turning her head this way and that. 

Then came the dress from Donovan's, rustling and crisp- 
ing. She slipped into it wonderingly, critically, while 
Fadette worked at the back, the arms, about her knees, 
doing one little essential thing after another. 

"Oh, Madame!'; she exclaimed. "Oh, charmant! Ze 
hair, it go weeth it perfect. It ees so full, so beyutiful 
here" sne pointed to the hips, where the lace formed a 
clinging basque. "Oh, tees varee, varee nize." 

Aileen glowed, but with scarcely a smile. She was con- 
ce-ned. It wasn't so much her toilet, which must be every- 
thi>g that it should be but this Mr. Addison, who was so 
rich and in society, and Mr. Rambaud, who was very 
poweful, Frank said, must like her. It was the necessity 
2 33 


to put her best foot forward now that was really troubling 
her. She must interest these men mentally, perhaps, as 
well as physically, and with social graces, and that was 
not so easy. For all her money and comfort in Philadelphia 
she had never been in society in its best aspects, had never 
done social entertaining of any real importance. P'rank 
was the most important man who had ever crossed her 
path. No doubt Mr. Rambaud had a severe, old-fashioned 
wife. How would she talk to her? And Mrs. Addison! 
She would know and see everything. Aileen almost talked 
out loud to herself in a consoling way as she dressed, so 
strenuous were her thoughts; but she went on, adding 
the last touches to her physical graces. 

When she finally wmt down-stairs to see how the dining 
and reception rooms looked, and Fadette began putting 
away the welter of discarded garments she was a radiant 
vision a splendid greenish-gold figure, with gorgeous hair, 
smooth, soft, shapely ivory arms, a splendid neck and bust, 
and a swelling form. She felt beautiful, and vet she was a 
little nervous truly. Frank himself would be critical. 
She went about looking into the dining-room, which, by the 
caterer's art, had been transformed into a kind of jewel-box 
glowing with flowers, silver, gold, tinted glass, and the 
snowy whiteness of linen. It reminded her of an opal 
flashing all its soft fires. She went into the general 
reception-room, where was a grand piano finished in pink 
and gold, upon which, with due thought to her one accom- 
plishment her playing she had arranged the songs and 
instrumental pieces she did best. Aileen was really not a 
brilliant musician. For the first time in her life she felt 
matronly as if now she were not a girl any more, but a 
woman grown, with some serious responsibilities, and yet 
she was not really suited to the role. As a matter of fact, 
her thoughts were always fixed on the artistic, social, and 
dramatic aspects of life, with unfortunately a kind of 
nebulosity of conception which permitted no condensatiop 
into anything definite or concrete. She could only be 
wildly and feverishly interested. Just then the door clicked 
to Frank's key it was nearing six and in he came, smiling, 
confident, a perfect atmosphere of assurance. 

"Well!" he observed, surveying her in the soft gl>w of 



the reception-room lighted by wall candles judiciously 
arranged. "Who's the vision floating around here? I'm 
almost afraid to touch you. Much powder on those arms?" 

He drew her into his arms, and she put up her mouth with 
a sense of relief. Obviously, he must think that she looked 

"I am chalky, I guess. You'll just have to stand it, 
though. You're going to dress, anyhow." 

She put her smooth, plump arms about his neck, and he 
felt pleased. This was the kind of a woman to have a 
beauty. Her neck was resplendent with a string of tur- 
quoise, her fingers too heavily jeweled, but still beautiful. 
bhe was faintly redolent of hyacinth or lavender. Her 
hair appealed to him, and, above all, the rich yellow silk 
of her dress, flashing fulgurously through the closely netted 

" Charming, girlie. You've outdone yourself. I haven't 
seen this dress before. Where did you get it?" 

"Here in Chicago." 

He lifted her warm fingers, surveying her train, and 
turned her about. 

"You don't need any advice. You ought to start a 

"Am I all right?" she queried, smartly, but with a sense 
of self-distrust for the moment, and all because of him. 

"You're perfect. Couldn't be nicer. Splendid!" 

She took heart. 

" I wish \ our friends would think so. You'd better 

He went up-stairs, and she followed, looking first into the 
dining-room again. At least that was right. Surely Frank 
was a master. 

At seven the plop of the feet of carriage -horses was 

heard, and a moment later Louis, the butler, was opening the 

door. Aileen went down, a little nervous, a little fripid, 

trying to think of many pleasant things, and wondering 

her she would really succeed in being entertaining. 

perwood accompanied her, a very different person in 

ir as mood and self-poise were concerned. To himself 

his >wn future was always secure, and that of Aileen's if 

he w.shed to make it so. The arduous, upward-ascending 



rungs of the social ladder that were troubling her had no 
such significance to him. 

The dinner, as such simple things go, was a success from 
what might be called a managerial and pictorial point of 
view. Cowperwood, because of his varied tastes and 
interests, could discuss railroading with Mr. Rambaud in a 
very definite and illuminating way; could talk architecture 
with Mr. Lord as a student, for instance, of rare promise 
would talk with a master; and with a woman like Mrs. 
Addison or Mrs. Rambaud he could suggest or follow ap- 
propriate leads. Aileen, unfortunately, was not so much 
at home, for her natural state and mood were remote not 
so much from a serious as from an accurate conception of 
life. So many things, except in a very nebulous and sug- 
gestive way, were sealed books to Aileen merely faint, 
distant tinklings. She knew nothing of literature except 
certain authors who to the truly cultured might seem 
banal. As for art, it was merely a jingle of names gathered 
from Cowperwoad's private comments. Her one redeem- 
ing feature was that she was truly beautiful herself a 
radiant, vibrating objet (Tart. A man like Rambaud, re- 
mote, conservative, constructive, saw the place of a woman 
like Aileen in the life of a man like Cowperwood on the 
instant. She was such a woman as he would have prized 
himself in a certain capacity. 

Sex interest in all strong men usually endures unto the 
end, governed sometimes by a stoic resignation. The 
experiment of such attraction can, as they well know, be 
made over and over, but to what end? For many it 
becomes too troublesome. Yet the presence of so glittering 
a spectacle as Aileen on this night touched Mr. Rambaud 
with an ancient ambition. He looked at her almost sadly. 
Once he was much younger. But alas, he had never at- 
tracted the flaming interest of any such woman. As he 
studied her now he wished that he might have enjoyed such 
good fortune. 

In contrast with Aileen's orchid glow and tinted richness 
Mrs. Rambaud's simple gray silk, the collar of whtfh 
came almost to her ears, was disturbing almost 
but Mrs. Rambaud's ladylike courtesy and genercsity 
made everything all right. She came out of intellectual 



New England the Emerson-Thoreau-Channing Phillips 
school of philosophy and was broadly tolerant. As a 
matter of fact, she liked Aileen and all the Orient richness 
she represented. "Such a sweet little house this is," she 
said, smilingly. "We've noticed it often. We're not so 
far removed from you but what we might be called 

Aileen's eyes spoke appreciation. Although she could 
not fully grasp Mrs. Rambaud, she understood her, in a 
way, and liked her. She was probably something like her 
own* mother would have been if the latter had been highly 
educated. While they were moving into the reception- 
room Taylor Lord was announced. Cowperwood took his 
hand and brought him forward to the others. 

"Mrs. Cowperwood/' said Lord, admiringly a tall, 
rugged, thoughtful person "let me be one of many to 
welcome you to Chicago. After Philadelphia you will find 
some things to desire at first, but we all come to like it 

"Oh, I'm sure I shall," smiled Aileen. 

"I lived in Philadelphia years ago, but only for a little 
while," added Lord. "I left there to come here." 

The observation gave Aileen the least pause, but she 
passed it over lightly. This sort of accidental reference she 
must learn to expect; there might be much worse bridges 
to cross. 

"I find Chicago all right," she replied, briskly. "There's 
nothing the matter with it. It has more snap than Phila- 
delphia ever had." 

"I'm glad to hear you say that. I like it so much. 
Perhaps it's because I find such interesting things to do 

He was admiring the splendor of her arms and hair. 
What need had beautiful woman to be intellectual, anyhow, 
he was saying to himself, sensing that Aileen might be 
deficient in ultimate refinement. 

Once more an announcement from the butler, and now Mr. 
and Mrs. Addison entered. Addison was not at all concerned 
over coming here liked the idea of it; his own position 
and that of his wife in Chicago was secure. "How are 
you, Cowperwood?" he beamed, laying one hand on the 



latter' s shoulder. "This is fine of you to have us in to-night. 
Mrs. Cowperwood, I've been telling your husband for 
nearly a year now that he should bring you out here. Did 
he tell you?" (Addison had not as vet confided to his wife 
the true history of Cowperwood and Aileen.) 

"Yes, indeed," replied Aileen, gaily, feeling that Addison 
was charmed by her beauty. "I've been wanting to come, 
too. It's his fault that I wasn't here sooner." 

Addison, looking circumspectly at Aileen, said to himself 
that she was certainly a stunning-looking woman. So she 
was the cause of the first wife's suit. No wonder. What a 
splendid creature! He contrasted her with Mrs. Addison, 
and to his wife's disadvantage. She had never been as 
striking, as stand - upish as Aileen, though possibly she 
might have more sense. Jove! if he could find a woman 
like Aileen to-day. Life would take on a new luster. And 

S?t he had women very carefully, very subterraneously. 
ut he had them. 

"It's such a pleasure to meet you," Mrs. Addison, a 
corpulent, bejeweled lady, was saying to Aileen. "My 
husband and yours have become the best of friends, appar- 
ently. We must see more of each other." 

She babbled on in a puffy social way, and Aileen felt 
as though she were getting along swiftly. The butler 
brought in a great tray of appetizers and cordials, and put 
them softly on a remote table. Dinner was served, and 
the talk flowed on; they discussed the growth of the city, 
a new church that Lord was building ten blocks farther 
out; Rambaud told about some humorous land swindles. 
It was quite gay. Meanwhile Aileen did her best to become 
interested in Mrs. Rambaud and Mrs. Addison. She liked 
the latter somewhat better, solely because it was a little 
easier to talk to her. Mrs. Rambaud Aileen knew to be the 
r and more charitable woman, but she frightened her 
a little; presently she had to fall back on Mr. Lord's help. 
He came to her rescue gallantly, talking of everything that 
came into his mind. All the men outside of Cowperwood 
were thinking how splendid Aileen was physically, how 
white were her arms, now rounded her neck and shoulders, 
how rich her hair. 



OLD Peter Laughlin, rejuvenated by Cowperwood's elec- 
tric ideas, was making money for the house. He brought 
many bits of interesting gossip from the floor, and such 
shrewd guesses as to what certain groups and individuals 
were up to, that Cowperwood was aole to make some very 
brilliant deductions. 

"By Gosh! Frank, I think I know exactly what them 
fellers are trying to do," Laughlin would frequently remark 
of a morning, after he had lain in his lonely Harrison Street 
bed meditating the major portion of the night. "That 
there Stock Yards gang" (and by gang he meant most of 
the great manipulators, like Arneel, Hand, Schryhart and 
others) "are after corn again. We want to git long o' 
that now, or I miss my guess. What do you think, huh?" 

Cowperwood, schooled by now in many Western subtle- 
ties which he had not previously known, and daily becom- 
ing wiser, would as a rule give an instantaneous decision. 

"You're right. Risk a hundred thousand bushels. I 
think New York Central is going to drop a point or two in 
a fVw days. We'd better go short a point." 

Laughlin could never figure out quite how it was that 
Cowperwood always seemed to know and was ready to act 
quite as quickly in local matters as he was himself. He 
understood his wisdom concerning Eastern shares and 
things dealt in on the Eastern exchange, but these Chicago 

"Whut makes you think that?" he asked Cowperwood, 
one day, quite curiously. 

"Why, Peter," Cowperwood replied, quite simply, "An- 
ton Videra" (one of the directors of the Wheat and Corn 
Baik) "was in here yesterday while you were on 'change, 



and he was telling me." He described a situation which 
Videra had outlined. 

Laughlin knew Videra as a strong, wealthy Pole who had 
come up in the last few years. It was strange how Cowper- 
wood naturally got in with these wealthy men and won 
their confidence so auickly. Videra would never have 
become so confidential with him. 

"Huh!" he exclaimed. "Well, if he says it it's more'n 
likely so." 

So Laughlin bought, and Peter Laughlin & Co. won. 

But this grain and commission business, while it was 
yielding a profit which would average about twenty 
thousand a year to each partner, was nothing more to 
Cowperwood than a source of information. 

He wanted to "get in" on something that was sure to 
bring very great returns within a reasonable time and that 
would not leave him in any such desperate situation as he 
was at the time of the Chicago fire spread out very thin, 
as he put it. He had interested in his ventures a small 
p of Oiicago men who were watching him Judah 
Acldison, Alexander Rambaud, Millard bailey, Anton 
Videra men who, although not supreme figures by any 
means, had free capital. He knew that he could go to them 
with any truly sound proposition. The one thing that m< >^t 
attracted his attention was the Chicago gas situation, 
because there was a chance to step in almost unheralded in 
an as yet unoccupied territory; with franchises once se- 
cured the reader can quite imagine how he could present 
himself, like a Hamilcar Barca in the heart of Spam or a 
Hannibal at the ^ates of Rome, with a demand for sur- 
render and a division of spoils. 

There were at this time three gas companies operating 
in the three different divisions of the city the three sec- 
ies," as they were called bouth, West, and 
North, and of these the Chicago Gas, Light, and Coke 
Company, organized in 1848 to do business on the South 
Side, was the most flourishing and important. The 
People's Gas, Light, and Coke Company, doing businr" 
on the West Side, was a few years younger than the South 
ago company, and had been allowed to spring icto 
existence through the foolish self-confidence of the orgm- 



izer and directors of the South Side company, who had 
fancied that neither the West Side nor the North Side was 
going to develop very rapidly for a number of years to 
come, and had counted on the city council's allowing them 
to extend their mains at any time to these other portions 
of the city. A third company, the North Chicago Gas 
Illuminating Company, haa been organized almost simul- 
taneously with the West Side company by the same process 
through which the other companies had been brought into 
life their avowed intention, like that of the West Side 
company, being to confine their activities to the sections 
from which the organizers presumably came. 

Cowperwood's first project was to buy out and combine 
the three old city companies. With this in view he looked 
up the holders in all three corporations their financial and 
social status. It was his idea that by offering them three 
for one, or even four for one, for every dollar represented 
by the market value of their stock he might buy in and 
capitalize the three companies as one. Then, by issuing 
sufficient stock to cover all his obligations, he would reap 
a rich harvest and at the same time leave himself in charge. 
He approached Judah Addison first as the most available 
man to help float a scheme of this kind. He did not want 
him as a partner so much as he wanted him as .an in- 

"Well, I'll tell you how I feel about this," said Addison, 
finally. "You've hit on a great idea here. It's a wonder 
it hasn't occurred to some one else before. And you'll want 
to keep rather quiet about it, or some one else will rush in and 
do it. We have a lot of venturesome men out here. But 
I like you, and I'm with you. Now it wouldn't be advisable 
for me to go in on this personally not openly, anyhow 
but I'll promise to see that you get some of the money you 
want. I like your idea of a central holding company, or 
pool, with you in charge as trustee, and I'm perfectly willing 
that you should manage it, for I think you can do it. 
Anyhow, that leaves me out, apparently, except as an 
investor. But you will have to get two or three others to 
help carry this guarantee with me. Have you any one in 

"Oh yes," replied Cowpenvood. "Certainly. I merely 



came to you first." He mentioned Rambaud, Videra, 
Bailey, and others. 

"They're all right," said Addison, "if you can get them. 
But I'm not sure, even then, that you can induce these 
other fellows to sell out. They're not investors in the 
ordinary sense. They're people who look on this gas 
business as their private business. They started it. Tiny 
like it. They built the gas-tanks and laid the mains. It 
won't be e:r 

Cowperwood found, as Addison predicted, that it was 
not such an easy matter to induce the various stock- 
holders and directors in the old companies to come in on 
any such scheme of reorganization. A closer, more un- 
responsive set of men he was satisfied he had never met. 
His offer to buy outright at three or four for one they re- 
fused absolutely. The stock in each case was selling from 
one hundred and seventy to two hundred and ten, and 
intrinsically was worth more every year, as the city was 
growing larger and its need of gas greater. At the same 
time they were suspicious one and all of anv combina- 
scheme by an outsider. Who was he? Whom did he 
represent? He could make it clear that he had ample 
capital, but not who his backers were. The old officers and 
directors fancied that it was a scheme on the part of some 
of the officers and directors of one of the other companies 
to get control and oust them. Why should they sell ? Why 
be tempted by greater profits from their stock when they 
were doing very well as it was? Because of his newness to 
Chicago and his lack of connection as yet with large affairs 
Cowperwood was eventually compelled to rurn to .mother 
scheme that of organizing new companies in the suburbs 
as an entering- wedge of attack upon the city pr 
Suburbs such as Lake View and Hyde Park, having town or 
village councils of their own, were permitted to pr;mt 
franchises to water, gas, and street railway companies d un- 
incorporated under the laws of the state. Cowperwood 
calculated that if he could form separate and seemingly 
distinct companies for each of the villages and town 
one general company for the city later, he would be in a 
position to dictate terms to the older organizations. It 
was simply a question of obtaining his charters and 



franchises before his rivals had awakened to the situ- 

The one difficulty was that he knew absolutely nothing 
of the business of gas its practical manufacture and dis- 
tribution and had never been particularly interested in 
it. Street-railroading, his favorite form of municipal profit- 
seeking, and one upon which he had acquired an almost 
endless fund of specialized information, offered no present 
practical opportunity for him here in Chicago. He medi- 
tated on the situation, did some reading on the manufac- 
ture of gas, and then suddenly, as was his luck, found an 
implement readv to his hand. 

It appeared that in the course of the life and growth of 
the South Side company there had once been a smaller 
organization founded by a man by the name of Sippens 
Henry De Soto Sippens who had entered and actually 
secured, by some hocus-pocus, a franchise to manufacture 
and sell gas in the down-town districts, but who had been 
annoyed by all sorts of legal processes until he had finally 
been driven out or persuaded to get out. He was now in 
the real-estate business in Lake View. Old Peter Laughlin 
knew him. 

"He's a smart little cuss,*' Laughlin told Cowperwood. 

I thort onct he'd make a go of it, but they ketched him 
where his hair was short, and he had to let go. There was 
an explosion in his tank over here near the river oner, an' 
I think he thort them fellers blew him up. Anyhow, he 
got out. I ain't seen ner heard sight of him fer year 

Cowperwood sent old Peter to look up Mr. Sippens and 
find out what he was really doing, and whether he would 
be interested to get back in the gas business. Enter, tin n, 
a few days later into the office of Peter Laughlin & Co. 
Henry De Soto Sippens. He was a very little man, about 
fifty years of age; he wore a high, four-cornered, stiff 
felt hat, with a short brown business coat (which in summer 
became seersucker) and square-toed shoes; he looked for 
all the world like a country drug or book store owner, with 
perhaps the air of a country doctor or lawyer superadded. 
His cuffs protruded too far from his coat-sleeves, his neck- 
tie bulged too far out of his vest, and his high hat was set 
a little too far back on his forehead; otherwise he was 



acceptable, pleasant, and interesting. He had short side- 
burns reddish brown which stuck out quite defiantly, 
and his eyebrows were heavy. 

"Mr. Sippens," said Cowperwood, blandly, "you were 
once in the gas manufacturing and distributing business here 
in Chicago, weren't you?" 

" I think I know as much about the manufacture of gas 
as any one," replied Sippens, almost contentiously. "I 
worked at it for a number of years." 

"Well, now, Mr. Sippens, I was thinking that it might be 
interesting to start a little gas company in one of these 
outlying villages that are growing so fast and see if we 
couldn't make some money out of it. I'm not a practical 
gas man myself, but I thought I might interest some one 
who was." He looked at Sippens in a friendly, estimating 
way. "I have heard of you as some one who has had con- 
siderable experience in this field here in Chicago. If I 
should get up a company of this kind, with considerable 
backing, do you think you might be willing to take the 
management of it?" 

"On, I know all about this gas field," Mr. Sippens was 
about to say. "It can't be done." But he changed his 
mind before opening his lips. "If I were paid enough," he 
said, cautiously. "I suppose you know what you have to 
contend with?" 

"Oh yes," Cowperwood replied, smiling. "What would 
you consider 'paid enough' to mean?" 

"Oh, if I were given six' thousand a year and a sufficient 
interest in the company say, a half, or something like that 
I might consider it," replied Sippens, determined, as he 
thought, to frighten Cowperwood off by his exorbitant de- 
mands. He was making almost six thousand dollars a 
year out of his present business. 

"You wouldn't think that four thousand in several com- 
panies say up to fifteen thousand dollars and an interest 
of about a tenth in each would be better?" 

Mr. Sippens meditated carefully on this. Plainly, the 
man before him was no trifling beginner. He looked at 
Cowperwood shrewdly and saw at once, without any ad- 
ditional explanation of any kind, that the latter was pre- 
paring a big fight of some sort. Ten years before Sippens 



had sensed the immense possibilities of the gas business. 
He had tried to "get in on it," but had been sued, way- 
laid, enjoined, financially blockaded, and finally blown up. 
He had always resented the treatment he had received, and 
he had bitterly regretted his inability to retaliate. He had 
thought his days of financial effort were over, but here 
was a man who was subtly suggesting a stirring fight, and 
who was calling him, like a hunter with horn, to the 

"Well, Mr. Cowperwood," he replied, with less de- 
fiance and more camaraderie, "if you could show me that 
you have a legitimate proposition in hand I am a practical 
gas man. I know all about mains, franchise contracts, 
and gas-machinery. I organized and installed the plant 
at Dayton, Ohio, and Rochester, New York. I would have 
been rich if I had got here a little earlier." The echo of 
regret was in his voice. 

"Well, now, here's your chance, Mr. Sippens," urged 
Cowperwood, subtly. "Between you and me there's going 
to be a big new gas company in the field. We'll make these 
old fellows stejp up and see us quickly. Doesn't that 
interest you? There'll be plenty of money. It isn't that 
that's wanting it's an organizer, a fighter, a practical gas 
man to build the plant, lay the mains, and so on." Cowper- 
wood rose suddenly, straight and determined a trick with 
him when he wanted to really impress any one. He seemed 
to radiate force, conquest, victory. "Do you want to 
come in?" 

"Yes, I do, Mr. Cowperwood!" exclaimed Sippens, 
jumping to his feet, putting on his hat and shoving it far 
back on his head. He looked like a chest-swollen bantam 

Cowperwood took his extended hand. 

"Get your real-estate affairs in order. I'll want you to 
get me a franchise in Lake View shortly and build me a 
plant. I'll give you all the help you need. I'll arrange 
everything to your satisfaction within a week or so. We 
will want a good lawyer or two." 

Sippens smiled ecstatically as he left the office. Oh, the 
wonder of this, and after ten years! Now he would show 
those crooks. Now he had a real fighter behind him a 



man like himself. Now, by George, the fur would begin to 
fly! Who was this man, anyhow? What a wonder! He 
would look him up. He knew that from now on he 
would do almost anything Cowperwood wanted him 
to do. 



WHEN Cowperwood, after failing in his overtures to 
the three city gas companies, confided to Addison 
his plan of organizing rival companies in the suburbs, the 
banker glared at him appreciatively. "You're a smart 
one!" he finally exclaimed. "You'll dol I back you to 
win!" He went on to advise Cowperwood that he would 
need the assistance of some of trie strong men on the 
various village councils. "They're all as crooked as eels' 
teeth," he went on. "But there are one or two that are 
more crooked than others and safer bell-wethers. Have 
you got your lawyer?" 

"I haven't picked one yet, but I will. I'm looking 
around for the right man r 

"Well, of course, I needn't tell you how important that 
is. There is one man, old General Van Sickle, who has had 
considerable training in these matters. He's fairly re- 

The entrance of Gen. Judson P. Van Sickle threw at 
the very outset a suggestive light on the whole situation. 
The old soldier, over hfty, had been a general of division 
during the Civil War, and had ^ot his real start in life 
by filing false titles to property in southern Illinois, and 
then bringing suits to substantiate his fraudulent claims 
before friendly associates. He was now a prosperous 
go-between, requiring heavy retainers, and yet not over- 
prosperous. There was only one kind of business that 
came to the General this kind; and one instinctively com- 
pared him to that decoy sheep at the stock-yards that had 
been trained to go forth into nervous, frightened flocks of 
its fellow-sheep, balking at being driven into the slaughter- 
ing-pens, and lead them peacefully into the shambles, 



only son of ex-Judge Marshall Scammon McKibben, of the 
State Supreme Court. Kent McKibben was thirty-three 

Siars old, tall, athletic, and, after a fashion, handsome, 
e was not at all vague intellectually that is, in the 
matter of the conduct of his business but dandified and at 
times remote. He had an office in one of the best blocks 
in Dearborn Street, which he reached in a reserved, specula- 
tive mood every morning at nine, unless something impor- 
tant called him down-town earlier. It so happened that he 
had drawn up the deeds and agreements for the real-estate 
company that sold Cowperwood his lots at Thirty-seventh 
Street and Michigan Avenue, and when they were ready 
he journeyed to the latter' s office to ask if there were any 
additional details which Cowperwood might want to have 
taken into consideration. When he was ushered in, Cowper- 
wood turned to him his keen, analytical eyes and saw at 
once a personality he liked. McKibben was just remote 
and artistic enough to suit him. He liked his clothes, his 
agnostic unreadableness, his social air. McKibben, on 
his part, caught the significance of the superior financial 
atmosphere at once. He noted Cowperwood's light-brown 
suit picked out with strands of red, his maroon tie, and 
small cameo cufF-links. His desk, glass-covered, looked 
clean and official. The woodwork of the rooms was all 
cherry, hand-rubbed and oiled, the pictures interesting 
steel-engravings of American life, appropriately framed. 
The typewriter at that time just introduced was in 
evidence, and the stock-ticker also new was ticking 
volubly the prices current. The secretary who waited on 
Cowperwood was a young Polish girl named Antoinette 
Nowak, reserved, seemingly astute, dark, and very attrac- 

"What sort of business is it you handle, Mr. McKib- 
ben?" asked Cowperwood, quite casually, in the course of 
the conversation. And after listening to McKibben's 
explanation he added, idly: "You might come and see me 
some time next week. It is just possible that I may have 
something in your line." 

In another man McKJbben would have resented this 
remote suggestion of future aid. Now, instead, he was 
intensely pleased. The man before him gripped his 



imagination. His remote intellectuality relaxed. When 
he came again and Cowperwood indicated the nature of the 
work he might wish to have done McKibben rose to the 
bait like a fish to a fly. 

"I wish you would let me undertake that, Mr. Cowper- 
wood/' he said, quite eagerly. "It's something Pve never 
done, but I'm satisfied I can do it. I live out in Hyde 
Park and know most of the councilmen. I can bring 
considerable influence to bear for you." 

Cowperwood smiled pleasantly. 

So a second company, officered by dummies of McKib- 
ben's selection, was organized. De Soto Sippens, without 
old General Van Sickle's knowledge, was taken in as prac- 
tical adviser. An application for a franchise was drawn up, 
and Kent Barrows McKibben began silent, polite work on 
the South Side, coming into the confidence, by degrees, of 
the various councilmen. 

There was still a third lawyer, Burton Stimson, the 
youngest but assuredly not the least able of the three, a 
pale, dark-haired Romeoish youth with burning eyes, whom 
Cowperwood had encountered doing some little work for 
Laughlin, and who was engaged to work on the West Side 
with old Laughlin as ostensible organizer and the sprightly 
De Soto Sippens as practical adviser. Stimson was no 
mooning Romeo, however, but an eager, incisive soul, born 
very poor, eager to advance himself. Cowperwood detected 
that pliability of intellect which, while it might spell 
disaster to some, spelled success for him. He wanted the 
intellectual servants. He was willing to pay them hand- 
somely, to keep them busy, to treat them with almost 
princely courtesy, but he must have the utmost loyalty. 
Stimson, while maintaining his calm and reserve, could have 
kissed the arch-episcopal hand. Such is the subtlety of 

Behold then at once on the North Side, the South Side, 
the West Side dark goings to and fro and walkings up and 
down in the earth. In Lake View old General Van Sickle 
and De Soto Sippens, conferring with shrewd Councilman 
Duniway, druggist, and with Jacob Gerecht, ward boss and 
wholesale butcher, both of whom were agreeable but exact- 


only son of ex-Judge Marshall Scammon McKibben, of the 
State Supreme Court. Kent McKibben was thirty-three 

Bsars old, tall, athletic, and, after a fashion, handsome, 
e was not at all vague intellectually that is, in the 
matter of the conduct of his business but dandified and at 
times remote. He had an office in one of the best blocks 
in Dearborn Street, which he reached in a reserved, specula- 
tive mood every morning at nine, unless something impor- 
tant called him down-town earlier. It so happened that he 
had drawn up the deeds and agreements for the real-estate 
company that sold Cowperwood his lots at Thirty-seventh 
Street and Michigan Avenue, and when they were ready 
he journeyed to the latter* s office to ask if there were any 
additional details which Cowperwood might want to have 
taken into consideration. When he was ushered in, Cowper- 
wood turned to him his keen, analytical eyes and saw at 
once a personality he liked. McKibben was just remote 
and artistic enough to suit him. He liked his clothes, his 
agnostic unreadableness, his social air. McKibben, on 
his part, caught the significance of the superior financial 
atmosphere at once. He noted Cowperwood's light-brown 
suit picked out with strands of red, his maroon tie, and 
small cameo cuff-links. His desk, glass-covered, looked 
clean and official. The woodwork of the rooms was all 
cherry, hand-rubbed and oiled, the pictures interesting 
steel-engravings of American life, appropriately framed. 
The typewriter at that time just introduced was in 
evidence, and the stock-ticker also new was ticking 
volubly the prices current. The secretary who waited on 
Cowperwood was a young Polish girl named Antoinette 
Nowak, reserved, seemingly astute, dark, and very attrac- 

"What sort of business is it you handle, Mr. McKib- 
ben?" asked Cowperwood, quite casually, in the course of 
the conversation. And after listening to McKibben's 
explanation he added, idly: "You might come and see me 
some time next week. It is just possible that I may have 
something in your line." 

In another man McKibben would have resented this 
remote suggestion of future aid. Now, instead, he was 
intensely pleased. The man before him gripped his 



imagination. His remote intellectuality relaxed. When 
he came again and Cowperwood indicated the nature of the 
work he might wish to have done McKibben rose to the 
bait like a fish to a fly. 

"I wish you would let me undertake that, Mr. Cowper- 
wood," he said, quite eagerly. "It's something I've never 
done, but I'm satisfied I can do it. I live out in Hyde 
Park and know most of the councilmen. I can bring 
considerable influence to bear for you." 

Cowperwood smiled pleasantly. 

So a second company, officered by dummies of McKib- 
ben's selection, was organized. De Soto Sippens, without 
old General Van Sickle's knowledge, was taken in as prac- 
tical adviser. An application for a franchise was drawn up, 
and Kent Barrows McKibben began silent, polite work on 
the South Side, coming into the confidence, by degrees, of 
the various councilmen. 

There was still a third lawyer, Burton Stimson, the 
youngest but assuredly not the least able of the three, a 
pale, dark-haired Romeoish youth with burning eyes, whom 
Cowperwood had encountered doing some little work for 
Laughlin, and who was engaged to work on the West Side 
with old Laughlin as ostensible organizer and the sprightly 
De Soto Sippens as practical adviser. Stimson was no 
mooning Romeo, however, but an eager, incisive soul, born 
very poor, eager to advance himself. Cowperwood detected 
that pliability of intellect which, while it might spell 
disaster to some, spelled success for him. He wanted the 
intellectual servants. He was willing to pay them hand- 
somely, to keep them busy, to treat them with almost 
princely courtesy, but he must have the utmost loyalty. 
Stimson, while maintaining his calm and reserve, could have 
kissed the arch-episcopal hand. Such is the subtlety of 

Behold then at once on the North Side, the South Side, 
the West Side dark goings to and fro and walkings up and 
down in the earth. In Lake View old General Van Sickle 
and De Soto Sippens, conferring with shrewd Councilman 
Duniway, druggist, and with Jacob Gerecht, ward boss and 
wholesale butcher, both of whom were agreeable but exact- 


ing, holding pleasant back-room and drug-store confabs 
with almost tabulated details of rewards and benefits. 
In Hyde Park, Mr. Kent Barrows McKibben, smug and 
well dressed, a Chesterfield among lawyers, and with him 
one J. T. Bergdoll, a noble hireling, long-haired and dusty, 
ostensibly president of the Hyde Park Gas and Fuel Com- 
pany, conferring with Councilman Alfred B. Davis, manu- 
facturer of willow and rattan ware, and Mr. Patrick Gilgan, 
saloon-keeper, arranging a prospective distribution of 
shares, offering certain cash consideration, lots, favors, and 
the like. Observe also in the village of Douglas and West 
Park on the West Side, just over the city line, the angular, 
humorous Peter Laughlin and Burton Stimson arranging 
a similar deal or deals. 

The enemy, the city gas companies, being divided into three 
factions, were in no way prepared for what was now coming. 
When the news finally leaked out that applications for 
franchises had been made to the several corporate village 
bodies each old company suspected the other of invasion, 
treachery, robbery. Pettifogging lawyers were sent, one 
by each company, to the village council in each particular 
territory involved, but no one of the companies had as yet 
the slightest idea who was back of it all or of the general 
plan of operations. Before any one of them could reason- 
ably protest, before it could decide that it was willing to 
pay a very great deal to have the suburb adjacent to its 
particular territory left free, before it could organize a 
legal fight, councilmanic ordinances were introduced giv- 
ing the applying company what it sought; and after a 
single reading in each case and one open hearing, as the law 
compelled, they were almost unanimously passed. There 
were loud cries of dismay from minor suburban papers 
which had almost been forgotten in the arrangement of 
rewards. The large city newspapers cared little at first, 
seeing these were outlying districts; they merely made the 
comment that the villages were beginning well, following 
in the steps of the city council in its distinguished career 
of crime. 

Cowperwood smiled as he saw in the morning papers 
the announcement of the passage of each ordinance 
granting him a franchise. He listened with comfort there- 



after on many a day to accounts by Laughlin, Sippens, 
McKibben, and Van Sickle of overtures made to buy them 
out, or to take over their franchises. He worked on plans 
with Sippens looking to the actual introduction of gas- 
plants. There were bond issues now to float, stock to be 
marketed, contracts for supplies to be awarded, actual 
reservoirs and tanks to be built, and pipes to be laid. A 
pumped-up public opposition had to be smoothed over. 
In all this De Soto Sippens proved a trump. With Van 
Sickle, McKibben, and Stimson as his advisers in different 
sections of the city he would present tabloid propositions 
to Cowperwood, to which the latter had merely to bow his 
head in assent or say no. Then De Soto would buy, build, 
and excavate. Cowperwood was so pleased that he was 
determined to keep De Soto with him permanently. De 
Soto was pleased to think that he was being given a chance 
to pay up old scores and to do large things; he was really 

"We're not through with those sharpers," he declared 
to Cowperwood, triumphantly, one day. "They'll fight 
us with suits. They may join hands later. They blew 
up my gas-plant. They may blow up ours." 

"Let them blow," said Cowperwood. "We can blow, 
too, and sue also. I like lawsuits. We'll tie them up so 
that they'll beg for quarter." His eyes twinkled cheer- 



IN the mean time the social affairs of Aileen had been 
prospering in a small way, for while it was plain that they 
were not to be taken up at once that was not to be ex- 
pected it was also plain that they were not to be ignored 
entirely. One thing that helped in providing a nice har- 
monious working atmosphere was the obvious warm affec- 
tion of Cowperwood for his wife. While many might con- 
sider Aileen a little brash or crude, still in the hands of so 
strong and capable a man as Cowperwood she might prove 
available. So thought Mrs. Addison, for instance, and Mrs. 
Rambaud. McKibben and Lord felt the same way. If 
Cowperwood loved her, as he seemed to do, he would prob- 
ably "put her through" successfully. And he really did 
love her, after his fashion. He could never forget how 
splendid she had been to him in those old days when, 
knowing full well the circumstances of his home, his wife, 
his children, the probable opposition of her own family, 
she had thrown over convention and sought his love. How 
freely she had given of hers! No petty, squeamish bick- 
ering and dickering here. He had been "her Frank" from 
the start, and he still felt keenly that longing in her to 
be with him, to be his, which had produced those first 
wonderful, almost terrible days. She might quarrel, fret, 
fuss, argue, suspect, and accuse him of flirtation with other 
women; but slight variations from the norm in his case did 
not trouble her at least she argued that they wouldn't. 
She had never had any evidence. She was ready to for- 
give him anything, she said, and she was, too, if only he 
would love her. 

"You devil," she used to say to him, playfully. "I know 



you. I can see you looking around. That's a nice stenog- 
rapher you have in the office. I suppose it's her." 

"Don't be silly, Aileen," he would reply. "Don't be 
coarse. You know I wouldn't take up with a stenographer. 
An office isn't the place for that sort of thing." 

"Oh, isn't it? Don't silly me. I know you. Any old 
place is good enough for you." 

He laughed, and so did she. She could not help it. She 
loved him so. There was no particular bitterness in her 
assaults. She loved him, and very often he would take 
her in his arms, kiss her tenderly, and coo: "Are you my 
fine big baby? Are you my red-headed doll? Do you 
really love me so much? Kiss me, then." Frankly, pagan 
passion in these two ran high. So long as they were not 
alienated by extraneous things he could never hope for 
more delicious human contact. There was no reaction 
either, to speak of, no gloomy disgust. She was physi- 
cally acceptable to him. He could always talk to tier in 
a genial, teasing way, even tender, for she did not offend 
his intellectuality with prudish or conventional notions. 
Loving and foolish as she was in some ways, she would 
stand blunt reproof or correction. She could suggest in a 
nebulous, blundering way things that would be good for 
them to do. Most of all at present their thoughts centered 
upon Chicago society, the new house, which by now had 
been contracted for, and what it would do to facilitate their 
introduction and standing. Never did a woman's life look 
more rosy, Aileen thought. It was almost too good to be 
true. Her Frank was so handsome, so loving, so generous. 
There was not a small idea about him. What if he did 
stray from her at times? He remained faithful to her 
spiritually, and she knew as yet of no single instance in 
which he had failed her. She little knew, as much as she 
knew, how blandly he could lie and protest in these matters. 
But he was fond of her just the same, and he really had not 
strayed to any extent. 

By now also, Cowperwood had invested about one 
hundred thousand dollars in his gas-company speculations, 
and he was jubilant over his prospects; the franchises were 
good for twenty years. By that time he would be nearly 
sixty, and he would probably have bought, combined with, 



or sold out to the older companies at a great profit. The 
future of Chicago was all in his favor. He decided to in- 
vest as much as thirty thousand dollars in pictures, if he 
could find the right ones, and to have Aileen's portrait 
painted while she was still so beautiful. This matter of 
art was again beginning to interest him immensely. Addi- 
son had four or five good pictures a Rousseau, a Greuze, 
a Wouverman, and one Lawrence picked up Heaven 
knows where. A hotel-man by the name of Collard, a dry- 
goods and real-estate merchant, was said to have a very 
striking collection. Addison had told him of one Davis 
Trask, a hardware prince, who was now collecting. There 
were many homes, ne knew where art was beginning to be 
assembled. He must begin, too. 

Cowperwood, once the franchises had been secured, had 
installed Sippens in his own office, giving him charge for the 
time being. Small rented offices and clerks were maintained 
in the region where practical plant-building was going on. 
All sorts of suits to enjoin, annul, and restrain had been 
hccun by the various old companies, but McKibben, 
Stimson, and old General Van Sickle were fighting these 
with Trojan vigor and complacency. It was a pleasant 
scene. Still no one knew very much of Cowperwood's 
entrance into Chicago as yet. He was a very minor figure. 
His name had not even appeared in connection with this 
work. Other men were being celebrated daily, a little to 
his envy. When would he begin to shine? Soon, now, 
surely. So off they went in June, comfortable, rich, gay, 
in the best of health and spirits, intent upon enjoying to the 
full their first holiday abroad. 

It was a wonderful trip. Addison was good enough to 
telegraph flowers to New York for Mrs. Cowperwood to be 
delivered on shipboard. McKibben sent books of travel. 
Cowperwood, uncertain whether anybody would send 
flowers, ordered them himself two amazing baskets, which 
with Addison's made three and these, with attached 
cards, awaited them in the lobby of the main deck. Several 
at the captain's table took pains to seek out the Cowper- 
woods. They were invited to join several card-parties and 
to attend informal concerts. It was a rough passage, how- 



ever, and Aileen was sick. It was hard to make herself 
look just nice enough, and so she kept to her room. She 
was very haughty, distant to all but a few, and to these 
careful of her conversation. She felt herself coming to be a 
very important person. 

Before leaving she had almost exhausted the resources 
of the Donovan establishment in Chicago. Lingerie, 
boudoir costumes, walking-costumes, riding-costumes, eve- 
ning costumes she possessed in plenty. She had a jewel- 
bag hidden away about her person containing all of thirty 
thousand dollars' worth of jewels. Her shoes, stockings, 
hats, and accessories in general were innumerable. Because 
of all this Cowperwood was rather proud of her. She had 
such a capacity for life. His first wife had been pale and 
rather anemic, while Aileen was fairly bursting v.ith sheer 
physical vitality. She hummed and jested and primped 
and posed. There are some souls that just arc. \\ithnut 
previous revision or introspection. The earth v.ith all its 
past \vas a mere >n to Aileen, dimly visualized 

if at all. She may have heard that there were once dinosaurs 
and flying reptiles, but if so it made no deep impression on 
her. Somebody had said, or was saying, that \M- 
descended from monkeys, \\huh was quite absunl, though it 
might be true enough. On the sea the thrashing hi! 
green water suggested a kind of immensity and terror, but 
not the immensity of the poet's heart. The ship was safe, 
the captain at table in brass buttons and blue uniform, i 
to be nice to her told her so. Her faith, really, was in the 
captain. And there with her, always, was Cowperwood, 
looking at this whole, moving spectacle of life with a sus- 
picious, not apprehensive, but wary eye, and saying noth- 
ing about it. 

In London letters piven them by Addison brought several 
invitations to the opera, to dinner, to Goodwood for a week- 
end, and so on. Carriages, tallyhoes, cabs for riding were 
invoked. A week-end invitation to a houseboat on the 
Thames was secured. Their English hosts, looking on 
all this as a financial adventure, good financial 
dom, were courteous and civil, nothing more. Aileen 
was intensely curious. She noted servants, manners, 
forms. Immediately she began to think that America 



was not good enough, perhaps ; it wanted so many 

"Now, Aileen, you and I have to live in Chicago for 
years and years," commented Cowperwood. "Don't get 
wild. These people don't care for Americans, can't you 
see that? They wouldn't accept us if we were over here 
not yet, anyhow. We're merely passing strangers, being 
courteously entertained." Cowperwood saw it all. 

Aileen was being spoiled in a way, but there was no help. 
She dressed and dressed. The Englishmen used to look 
at her in Hyde Park, where she rode and drove; at Clar- 
idges* where they stayed; in Bond Street, where she shopped. 
The Englishwomen, the majority of them remote, ultra- 
conservative, simple in their tastes, lifted their eyes. 
Cowperwood sensed the situation, but said nothing. He 
loved Aileen, and she was satisfactory to him, at least 
for the present, anyhow, beautiful. If he could adjust 
her station in Chicago, that would be sufficient for a be- 
ginning. After three weeks of very active life, during 
which Aileen patronized the ancient and honorable glories 
of England, they went on to Paris. 

Here she was quickened to a child-like enthusiasm. 
"You know," she said to Cowperwood, quite solemnly, 
the second morning, "the English don't know how to 
dress. I thought they did, but the smartest of them copy 
the French. Take those men we saw last night in the 
Cafe d'Anglais. There wasn't an Englishman I saw that 
compared with them." 

"My dear, your tastes are exotic," replied Cowperwood, 
who was watching her with pleased interest while he 
adjusted his tie. "The French smart crowd are almost 
too smart, dandified. I think some of those young fellows 
had on corsets." 

I'What of it?" replied Aileen. "I like it. If you're 
going to be smart, why not be very smart?" 

"I know that's your theory, my dear," he said, "but it 
can be overdone. There is such a thing as going too far. 
You have to compromise even if you don't look as well as 
you might. You can't be too very conspicuously different 
from your neighbors, even in the right direction." 

"You know," she said, stopping and looking at him, "I 


believe you're going to get very conservative some day 
like my brothers." 

She came over and touched his tie and smoothed his hair. 

"Well, one of us ought to be, for the good of the family/' 
he commented, half smiling. 

"I'm not so sure, though, that it will be you, either." 

"It's a charming day. See how nice those white-marble 
statues look. Shall we go to the Cluny or Versailles or 
Fontainbleau? To-night we ought to see Bernhardt at the 

Aileen was so gay. It was so splendid to be traveling 
with her true husband at last. 

It was on this trip that Cowperwood's taste for art and 
life and his determination to possess them revived to the 
fullest. He made the acquaintance in London, Paris, 
and Brussels of the important art dealers. His conception 
of great masters and the older schools of art shaped 
themselves. By one of the dealers in London, who at once 
recognized in him a possible future patron, he was invited 
with Aileen to view certain private collections, and here 
and there was an artist, such as Lord Leighton, Dante 
Gabriel Rossetti, or Whistler, to whom he was introduced 
casually, an interested stranger. These men only saw a 
strong, polite, remote, conservative man. He realized the 
emotional, egotistic, and artistic soul. He felt on the 
instant that there could be little in common between such 
men and himself in so far as personal contact was con- 
cerned, yet there was mutual ground on which they could 
meet. He could not be a slavish admirer of anything, only 
a princely patron. So he walked and saw, wondering how 
soon his dreams of grandeur were to be realized. 

In London he bought a portrait by Raeburn; in Paris 
a plowing scene by Millet, a small Jan Steen, a battle 
piece by Meissonier, and a romantic courtyard scene by 
Isabey. Thus began the revival of his former interest in 
art; the nucleus of that future collection which was to 
mean so much to him in later years. 

On their return, the Building of the new Chicago man- 
sion created the next interesting diversion in the lives of 
Aileen and Cowperwood. Because of some chateaux they 
saw in France that form, or rather a modification of it as 



suggested by Taylor Lord, was adopted. Mr. Lord figured 
that i ! take all of a year, perhaps a year and a half, 

to deliver it in perfect order, but time was of no great im- 
portance in this connection. In the mean while tin v could 
n their social connections and prepare for that 
interesting day when they should be of the Chicago elite. 
There were, at this time, several elements in Chicago 
those v. h". h.iving grown suddenly rich from dull poverty, 
! not so easily forget the village church and the village 
social standards; those who, having inherited wealth. <>r 
migrated from the East where wealth was old, understood 
more of the s avoir faire of the game; and those wh . 
newly born into wealth and seeing the drift tow.; 
smarter American life, were beginning to wish they might 
shine in it these last the very young people. The 
latter were just beginning to dream of dances at Kinsley's, 
a stated Kirmess, and summer diversions of the European 
Lin.l. but they had not arrived as yet. The first class, al- 
though by far the dullest and most bovine, was still the 
most powerful because they were the richest, money as yet 
providing the highest standard. The functions wh 
people provided were stupid to the verjc of distraction; 
really they were only the week-day receptions and Sunday- 
noon calls of bqueedunk and Hohokus raised to the 
tith power. The purpose of the whole matter was to 
see and be seen. Novelty in either thought n was 

decidedly eschewed. It was, as a matter of fact, cu 

s of thought and action and the quintessence of con- 
vmrion that was desired. The idea of introducing a 
"play actress." for instance, as was done occasionally in 
the East or in London never; even a singer or an artist 
was eyed askance. One could easily go too far! But if a 
European prince should have strayed to Chicago (which 
he never did) or if an Eastern social magnate chanced to 
stay over a train or two, then the topmost circle of local 
wealth was prepared to strain its. If to the breaking-} 

Cowoerwood had sensed all this on his arrival, but he 
fancied that if he became rich and powerful enough h< 
Aileen, with their fine house to help th 

leaven which would lighten the whole lump. Unfortunate- 
ly, Aileen was too obviously on the qui vive for those oppor- 



tunitics which might lead to social recognition and 

supremacy. Like the savage, nzed for pro- 

tection and at the mercy of the horrific caprice of nature, 
she was almost tremulous at times with thoughts of pos- 
sible failure. Almost at once she had recognized herself 
as unsuited temperamentally for association \\irh certain 
types of society women. The wife of Anson Merrill, the 
great dry-goods prince, whom she saw in one of the down- 
town stores one day, impressed her as much too cold and 
remote. Mrs. Merrill was a woman of superior mood and 
education who found herself, in her own estimation, hard 
put to it for suitable companionship in Chicago. She was 
Eastern-bred Boston and familiar in an offhand way 
with the superior world of London, which she had visited 
several times. Chicago at its best was to her a sordid 
commercial mess. She preferred New York or Washing- 

1 ut she had to live ncre. Thus she patronized n< 
all of those with whom she condescended to associate, usinr 
an upward tilt of the head, a tired droop of the ey< ! 
a fine upward arching of the brows to indicate how trite it 
all was. 

It was a Mrs. Henry Huddlestone who had pointed out 
Mrs. Merrill to Aileen. Mrs. Huddlestone was the wife of 
a soap-manufacturer living very close to the Cowperwoods' 
temporary home, and she and her husband were on the 
outer fringe of society. She had heard that the Cov 
woods were people of wealth, that they were friendly v-ith 
the Addisons, and that they were going to build a two- 
hundred-thousand-dollar mansion. (The value of houses 
vs grow in the telling.) That was enough. She had 
called, being three doors away, to leave her card; and Aileen, 
willing to curry favor here and there, had responded. Mrs. 
Huddlestone was a little woman, not very attractive in 
appearance, clever in a social way, and eminently practical. 

41 Speaking of Mrs. Merrill," commented Mrs. Huddle- 
stone, on this particular day, "there she is near the dress- 
goods counter. She always carries that lorgnette in just 
that way." 

Aileen turned and examined critically a tall, dark, slen- 
der woman of the high world of the West, very remote, 
disdainful, superior. 



"You don't know her?" questioned Aileen, curiously, sur- 
veying her at leisure. 

r 'No," replied Mrs. Huddlestone, defensively. "They 
live on the North Side, and the different sets don't mingle 
so miK-h." 

As a matter of fact, it was just the glory of the prin 
families that they were above this arbitrary division of 
"sides," and could pick their associates from all three 

"Oh!" observed Aileen, nonchalantly. She was secretly 
irritated to think that Mrs. Huddlestone should find it 
necessary to point out Mrs. Merrill to her as a superior 

"You know, she darkens her eyebrows a little, I think," 
suggested Mrs. Huddlestone, studying her enviously. "Her 
husband, they say, isn't the most faithful person in the world. 
There's another woman, a Mrs. Gladdens, that lives very 
close to them that he's very much interested in." 

i!" said Aileen, cautiouslv. After her own Philadel- 
phia experience she had decided to be on her guard and not 
indulge in too much gossip. Arrows of this particular kind 
could so readily fly in her ilimrion. 

" But her set is really much the smartest," complimented 
Aileen's companion. 

Thereafter it was Aileen's ambition to associate with Mrs. 
Anson Merrill, to be fully and freely accepted by her. 
did not know, although she might have feared, that that 
ambition was never to be realized. 

But there were others who had called at the first Cowpcr- 

wood home, or with whom the Cowperwoods managed to 

form an acquaintance. There were the Sunderland Sledds, 

Mr. Sledd being general traffic manager of one of th< 

hwestern railways entering the city, and a gentleman 

of taste and culture and some wealth; his wife an ambitious 

nobody. There were the Walter Rysam Cottons, Cotton 

being a wholesale coffee-broker, but more especially a local 

social litterateur; his wife a graduate of Vassar. There were 

the Nome Simmses, Simms being secretary and treasurer 

of the Douglas Trust and Savings Company, and a power 

in another group of financial people, a group entirely dis- 

;n that represented by Addison and Rambaud. 



Others included the Stanislau Hoecksemas, wealthy furriers; 
the Duane Kingslands, wholesale flour; the.Webster Israelses, 
packers; the Bradford Candas, jewelers. All these people 
amounted to something socially. They all had substantial 
homes and substantial incomes, so that they were worthy 
of consideration. The difference between Aileen and most 
of the women involved a difference between naturalism and 
illusion. But this calls for some explanation. 

To really know the state of the feminine mind at this 
time, one would have to go back to that period in the 
Middle Ages when the Church flourished and tne industrious 
poet, half schooled in the facts of life, surrounded women 
with a mvstical halo. Since that day the maiden and thr 
matron as well has been schooled to believe that she is 
of a finer clay than man, that she was born to uplift him, 
and that her favors are priceless. This rose-tinted mist 
of romance, having nothing to do with personal morality, 
has brought about, nevertheless, a holier-than-thou 
tude of women toward men, and even of women toward 
women. Now the Chicago atmosphere in which Aileen 
found herself was composed in part of this very illusion. 
The ladies to whom she had been introduced were of this 
high world of fancy. They conceived themselves to be 
perfect, even as they were represented in religious art and 
in fiction. Their husbands must be models, worthy of their 
hiph ideals, and other women must have no blemish of any 
kind. Aileen, urgent, elemental, would have laughed at 
all this if she could have understood. Not understanding, 
slu- frit iliffident and uncertain of herself in certain presences. 

Instance in this connection Mrs. Nome Simms, who was 
a satellite of Mrs. Anson Merrill. To be invited to the 
Anson Merrills' for tea, dinner, luncheon, or to be driven 
down-town by Mrs. Merrill, was paradise to Mrs. Simms. 
She loved to recite the bon mots of her idol, to diso-ursr 
upon her astonishing degree of culture, to narrate how 
people refused on occasion to believe that she was the wife 
of Anson Merrill, even though she herself declared it 
those old chestnuts of the social world which must have had 
their origin in Egypt and Chaldea. Mrs. Simms herself 
was of a nondes pe, not a real personage, clever, 

good-looking, tasteful, a social climber. The two Simms 



children (little girls) had been taught all the social graces 
of the day to pose, smirk, genuflect, and the like, to 
the immense delight of thnr rMi-rs. 1 In nurse in charge 

i uniform. t!u IM>\ crnesf was a much put- upon pt 
Mrs. Simms had a high manner, eyes for those above her 
only, a serene contempt for the commonplace world in 
:i she had to dwi II. 

During tlu first dinner at which she entertained the 
Cowperwoods Mrs. Simms attempted to dig into Aileen's 
Philadelphia history, asking if she knew the Arthur Lcighs, 
the Trevor Drakes, Roberta Willing, or the Martyn Walkers. 
Mrs. Simms did i * them herself, but she had heard 

Mrs. Merrill speak of them, and that was enough 
handle whereby to swing them. Aileen, auick n the de- 
fense, ready to lie manfully on her own bcnalf, assured her 
that she had known them, as indeed she had very casually 
and before the rumor which connected her with Cowpcr- 
wood had been voiced abroad. This pleased Mrs. Simms. 

" I must tell Nellie," she said, referring thus familiarly 
to Mrs. Merrill. 

Aileen feared that if this sort of thing continued it would 
soon be all over town that she had been a mistress before 
she had been a wife, that she had been the unmentiooed 
corespondent in the divorce suit, and that Cowperwood 
had been in prison. Only his wealth and her beauty > 
save her; and would th< 

One ni^ht they had been to dinner at the Duane Kings- 
lands', and Mrs. Bradford Canda had asked her, in what 
seemed a very significant way, whether she had ever met 
her friend Mrs. Schuyler Evans, of Philadelphia. I his 
htencd Aileen. 

Don't vou suppose they must know, some of them, 
about usF she asked Cowperwood, on the way home. 

"I suppose so," he replied, thoughtfully. "I'm sure I 
don't know. I wouldn't worry about that if I were you. 
If you worry about it you'll suggest it to them. I h.r 
made any secret of my term in prison in Philadelphia, and 
I don't intend to. It wasn't a square deal, and they had 
no right to put me there." 

"I kn<w, dear," replied Aileen, "it might not make so 
much difference if they did know. I don't see why it 


should. We are not the only ones that have had marriage 
troubles, I'm sure." 

"There's iust one thing about this; either they accept us 
or they don t. If they don't, v.<ll and good; we can't lulp 
it. We'll go on and finish the house, and give them a chance 
to be decent. If they won't be, there are other i 
Money will arrange matters in New York that I kn..\s. 
We can build a real place there, and go in on equal terms 
if we have money enough and I will have money enough," 
In- added, after a moment's pondering. "Never fear. 
I'll make millions here, whether they want me to or not, 
ami after that well, after that, we'll sec what we'll sec. 
Don't worry. I haven't seen many troubles in this world 
that money wouldn't cu 

liis teeth had that even set that they always assumed 
when he was dangerously in earnest. He took Aileen's 
hand, however, and pressed it gently. 

"Don't worry," he repeated. "Qiicago isn't the only 
and we won't be the poorest people in America, either, 
in ten years. Just keep up your courage. It will all come 
out right. It's certain to. ' 

Aileen looked out on the lamp-lit length of Mich 
Avenue, down which they were rolling past many sil< nt 
mansions. The tops of all the lamps were white, and 
gleamed through the shadows, receding to a thin point. 
It was dark, but fresh and pleasant. Oh, if only Fr. 
money could buy them position and friendship in this in- 
teresting world; if it only would! She did not quite 
realize how much on her own personality, or the lack of it, 
this struggle depended. 



"TNIE opening of the house in Michigan Avenue occurred 
1 late in November in the fall of eighteen seventy-elicit. 
when Aileen and Cowperwood had been in Chicago about 
two years. Altogether, between people whom they had 
met at the r nis dinners and teas, and at re- 

>ns of the Union and ^Calumet Gubs (to uhuh Cow- 
perwood, through Addison's backing, had been admitted) 
and those whom McKibben and Lord influenced, they were 
able to send invitations to about three hund shorn 

some two hundred and fifty responded. Up to this time, 
H to Cowperwood's quiet manipulation of his affairs, 
there had been no comment on his past no particular in- 
terest in it. He had money, affable ways, a magnetic per- 
sonality. The business men of the city those whom he met 
socially were inclined to consider him fascinating and 
clever. Aileen being beautiful and graceful for M 
was accepted at more or less her own value, though the 
kingly high world knew them not. 

It is amazing what a showing the socially unplaced can 
make on occasion where tact and discrimination are used. 
There was a weekly social paper published in Chicago at 
time, a rather able publication as such things go, 
which Cowperwood, with McKibben's ass had 

pressed into service. Not much can be done under any 
.mces where the cause is not essentially strong; hut 
where, as in this case, there is a semblance of respectability. 
considerable wealth, and great force and magnetism, all 
things are possible. Kent McKibben knew Ron 
gers, the editor, who was a rather desolate and disillu- 
sioned person of forty-five, gray, and depressed -looking 
i sort of human sponge or barnacle who was only gal- 



vanizcd into seeming interest and cheerfulness by sheer 
necessity. Those were the days when the society editor 
was accepted as a member of society dt facto and treated 
more as a guest than a reporter, though even then the 
tendency was toward elimination. Working for Cowper- 
wood, and liking him, McKibben said to Diggers one eve- 

"You know the Cowperwoods, don't you. Bitters?" 

"No," replied the latter, who devoted h irnacle- 

wise to the more exclusive circles. "Who are they?" 

"Why, he's a banker over here in La Salle Street. 
They're from Philadelphia. Mrs. Cowperwopd's a beauti- 
ful woman young and all that. They re building a house 
our here on Michigan Avenue. You ought to know them. 
They're going to get in, I think. The Addisons like them. 
If you were to be nice to them now I think they'd appre- 
ciate it later. He's rather liberal, and a pood nBow. 

Big^ers pricked up his ears. This social journalism was 
thin picking at best, and he had very few ways of turning 
an honest penny. The would be's and half-in's who ex- 
pected nice things said of them had to subscribe, and rather 
liberally, to his paper. Not long after this brief talk Cowper- 


wood received a subscription blank from the business office 
of the Saturday Rtvirw, and immediately sent a check for 
one hundred dollars to Mr. Horton Biggers direct. Subse- 
quently certain not very significant personages n<> 
that when the Cowperwoods dined at their boards the 
function received comment by the Saturday Revitw, not 
otherwise. It looked as though the Cowperwoods must be 
favored; but who were they, anyhow? 

The danger of publicity, and even moderate social 
cess, is that scandal loves a shining mark. When you begin 
to stand out the least way in life, as separate from the 
mass, the cognoscenti wish to know who, what, and why. 
The enthusiasm of Aileen, combined with the genius of 
Cowperwood, was for making their opening entertainment 
a very exceptional affair, which, under the circumstances, 
and all things considered, was a dangerous thing to do. As 
yet Chicago was exceedingly slow socially. Its movements 
were, as has been said, more or less bovine and phlegmatic. 
T<> rush in with something utterly brilliant and pyrotechnic 



to take notable chances. The more cautious members 
of Chicago society, even if they did not annul, would hear, 
and then would come ultimate comment and il 

llu fuiu-ti>n lu-.m with a reception at four, which lasted 

until six-thirty, arul this was followed by a dance at nmr, 

with music by a famous stringed orchestra of Chicago, a 

al programme by artists of considerable importance, 

.1 gorgeous supper from eleven until one in a Cl, 

land of lights, at small tables filling three of tin- 

ground-floor rooms. As an added fillip to the occasion 

Cowperwood had hung, not onlv the important pictures 

which he had purchased abroad, but a new one a particu- 

brilliant Gerome, then in the heyday of his exotic pop- 

y a mcturc of nude odalisques of the harem, idling 
beside the highly colored stone marquetry of an oriental 
bath. It was more or lets "loose" art for Chicago, shock- 
ing to the uninitiated, though harmless enough to the il- 
huiiin.iti. hut it K.IVC a touch of color to the art-gallery 
w huh the latter needed. There was also, newly arrived and 
newly hung, a portrait of Ailecn by a Dutch artist. Jan van 
Beers, whom they had encountered the previous summer 
at Brussels. He had painted Ailcrn in nine sittings, a 
rather brilliant canvas, high in key, with a summery, 
out-of-door world behind her a low stone-curbed pool, tin- 
fed corner of a Dutch brick palace, a tulip-bed, and a blue 
sky with fleecy clouds. Aileen was seated on the curved 
arm of a stone bench, green grass at her feet, a pink-and- 
whitc parasol with a lacy edge held idly to one side; her 
rounded, vigorous figure clad in the latest mode of Paris, 
r< and blue strioed-silk walking-suit, with a blue-and- 
whitc-banded straw hat, wide-brimmed, airy, shading her 
lusty, animal eyes. The artist had caught her spinr jntt- 
accurately, the dash, the assumj >c bravado based 

on the courage of inexperience, or lack of true subtlety. 
A refreshing thing in its wav, a little showy, as every r 
that related to her was, ana inclined to arouse jealousy in 
those not so liberally endowed by life, but fine as a character 
piece. I n t he warm glow of the guttered gas-jets she looked 
particularly brilliant here, pampered, idle, jaunty the 

kept, stall-fed pet of the world. Many stopped to see, 
and many were the comments, private and otherwise. 



This day bepan with a flurry of uncertainty and worried 
anth n the part of Ailecn. At Cowperwood's 

n she had employed a social secretary, a ooor hack of 
, who had sent out all the letters, tabulated the re- 
. run errands, and advised on one detail and another. 
Fadette, her French maid, was in the throes of preparing 
for two toilets which would have to be made this day, one 
o o'clock at least, another between six and eight. Her 
"mon difus" and "par bkus" could be heard usly 

as she hunted for some article of dress or polished an orna- 
. buckle, or pin. The struggle of Aileen to be perfect 
as usual, severe. Her meditations, as to the most be- 
i to wear were trying. Her portrait was on 
the easr \s.ill in the art-gallery, a spur to emulation; she 
felt as though all society were about to judge her. Theresa 
Donovan, the local dressmaker, had given some advice; Imt 
Aileen decided on a heavy brown velvet constructed by 
Worth, of Paris a thing of varying aspects, showing her 
and arms to perfection, and composing charm 


her flesh and hair. She tried amethyst ear-rings and 
changed to topaz; she stockinged her legs in brown 
and her feet were shod in brown slippers with red enamel 


The trouble with Aileen was that she never did these 
things with that ease ulmh is a sure si^n of the sot: 
efficient. She never quite so much dominated a 
as she permitted it to dominate her. Only the superior 
ease and graciousness of Cowperwood carried her thr 

lies; out that always did. When he was near sh< 
quite the great lady, suited to any realm. When she was 
alone her courage, great as it was, often trembled in the 
balance. Her dangerous past was never quite out of her 

At four Kent McKibben, smug in his afternoon frock, 
his quick, receptive eyes approving only partially of all 
this show and effort, took his place in the general reception - 
room, talking to Taylor Lord, who had completed his last 
observation and was leaving to return later in the evening. 
If these two had been closer friends, auite intimate, 
would have discussed the Cowperwoods* social prospects; 
but as it was, they confined themselves to dull cor 



alitics. At this moment Aileen came down-stairs for a 
moment, radiant. Kmt McKibben thought he had never 
seen her look more beautiful. After all, contrasted \\ith 
some of the stuffy creatures who moved about in s> 
shrewd, hard. bny, calculating, trading on their assured 
position, she was admirable. It was a city she did not 
nave more poise; she ought to be a little harder n<>t quite 
so genial. Still, with Cowperwood at her side, she might 
go far. 

"Really, Mrs. Cowperwood," he said, "it is all n 
charming. I was just telling Mr. Lord here that I con- 
sider the house a triumph." 

From McKibben, who was in society, and with Lord, 
m" standing by, this was like wine to Aileen. 
She beamed joyously. 

Among the first arrivals were Mrs. Webster Israels, Mrs. 
Bradford Canda, and Mrs. Walter Rysam Cotton, who were 
to assist in receiving. These ladies did not know that they 
were taking their future reputations for sagacity and dis- 
crimination in their hands; they had been carried away 
hv the show of luxury of Aileen, the growing fin.i 
repute of Cowperwood, and the artistic qualities of the new 
home. Mrs. Webster Israels's mouth was of such a peculiar 
shape that Aileen was always reminded of a fish; but she 
was not utterly homely, and to-day she looked brisk and 
tivc. Mrs. Bradford Canda, whose old rose and 
-gray dress made up in part for an amazing angular- 
ity, t> was charming withal, was the soul >t interest, 
for she believed this to be a very significant affair. Mrs. 
Walter Rysam Cotton, a younger woman than either of 
the others, had the polish of Vassar life about her, and was 
"above" many things. Somehow she half suspected the 
Cowperwoods might not do, but they were making strides, 
and might possibly surpass all other aspirants. It behooved 
her to be pleasant. 

Life passes from individuality and separateness at times 
to a sort of Montici Iliesque mood of color, where individual- 
ity is nothinc, the clittrr 'ity all. The new house, 
with its charming French windows on the ground floor, its 
heavy bands of stone flowers and deep-sunk florated door, 
was soon crowded with a moving, colorful flow of people. 



Many whom Ailccn and Cowperwood did not know at all 
had been invited by McKibben and Lord; they came, and 
were now introduced. The adjacent side streets and the 
open space in front of the house were crowded with champ- 
ing horses and smartly veneered carriages. All with whom 
the Cowperwoods had been the least intimate came early, 
and, finding the scene colorful and interesting, they re- 
mained for some time. The caterer, Kinsley, had supplied 
a small army of trained servants who were posted like sol- 
diers, and carefully supervised by the Cowpcrwood butler. 
The new dining-room, rich with a Pompeian scheme of 
color, was aglow with a wealth of glass and an an 
arrangement of delicacies. The afternoon costumes of the 
women, ranging through autumnal grays, purples, browns, 
and greens, blended effectively with the brown-tinted w;ills 
of the entry-hall, the deep gray and gold of the general 
living-room, the old-Roman red of the dining-room, the 
white-and-gold of the music-room, and the neutral sepia 
of the art-gallery. 

Aileen, backed by the courageous presence of Cowper- 
wood, who, in the dining-room, the library, and the art- 
gallery, was holding a private levee of men, stood up in her 
to see almost to weep over, em bod y- 
dsf v.mity of all seeming things, the mockery of hav- 
ing and yet not having. This parading throng that was 
curious than interested, more jealous than sympa- 
thetic, more critical than kind, was coming almost solely 
to observe. 

"Do you know, Mrs. Cowperwood," Mrs. Simms re- 
marked, liphtly, "your house reminds me of an art exhibit 
to-day. I hardly know why." 

Aileen, who caught the implied slur, had no clever words 
She was not gifted in that way, but 
she flared with resentment. 

"Do you think so?" she replied, caustically. 

Mrs. Simms, not all dissatisfied with the effect she had 
produced, passed on with a gay air, attended by a young 
artist who followed amorously in her train. 

Aileen saw from this and other things like it how little 
she was reallv ' 'in " The exclusive set did not take either 
her or Cowperwood seriously as yet. She almost hated 



the comparatively dull Mrs. Israels, uh<> had hc< n st:n 
beside her at the time, and who had heard the remark; 
and yrt Mrs. Israels was much better than nothing. Mrs. 
Simms had condescended a mild "how'd do" to th< l.itn r. 

It was in v.nn that the Addisons, Sledds, Kingsl.i 
Hoccksemas, and others made their appearance; Aileen 
was not reassured. Ho the younger 

set, influenced by McKibbcn, came to dance, and A 
was at her best in spite of her doubts. She was Ray, bold, 
am.. t McKibben, a past masr< r m the mazes 

ami mysteries of the grand march, had the pleasure of lead- 
ing her in that .. v procession, followed by Cowper- 
wood, who gave his arm to Mrs. Simms. Aileen, in rata 
touch of silver here and there and nn-kN-t. 
bracelet, ear-rings, and hair-ornament of diamonds, pht 
in almost an exotic way. She was positively radiant. 
McKibben, almost smitten, was most at 

"This is such a pleasure," he whispered, intimately. 

ry beautiful a dream P 
"You would find me a very substantial one," returned 

"Would that I might find," he laughed, gaily; and 

.the ring the hidden significance, showed her ? 
ngly. Mrs. Simms, engrossed by Cowperwood, could 
not hear as she would have liked. 

After the march Aileen, surrounded by a half-dozen of 
rudely thoughtless young bloods, escorted them all 
to see her portrait. The conservative commented on the 
flow of wine, the intensely nude Gerome at one end of the 
gallery, and the sparkling portrait of Aileen at the other, 
the enthusiasm of some of the young men for her com- 
pany. Mrs. Rambaud, pleasant and kindly, rcm. 
to her husband that Aileen was "very eager for life," she 
thought. Mrs. Addison, astonished at the material flare 
of the Cowperwoods, quite transcending in glitter if not 
in size and solidity anything she and Addison had ever 
achieved, remarked to her husband that "he must be mak- 
ing money very fast." 

The man's a born financier, Ella," Addison explained, 

isly. "He's a manipulator, and he's sur 
make money. Whether they can get into society I don't 



know. He could if he were alone, that's sure. She's 
beautiful, but he needs another kind of woman, I'm afraid. 
She's almost too good-looking." 

"That's what 1 think, too. I like her, but I'm afraid 
she's not going to play her cards right. It's too bad, too." 

Just then Aileen came by, a smiling youth on either side, 

her own face glowing with a warmth of joy engendered 

by much flattery. The ball-room, which was composed 

and drawing rooms thrown into one, was now 

the objective. It glittered before her with a moving throng; 

the air was full of the odor of flowers, and the sound of 

and voices. 

"Mrs. Cowperwood," observed Bradford Canda to 
Horton Diggers, the society editor, "is one of the prettiest 
women I have seen in a long time. She's almost too 


"How do you think she's taking?" queried the cautious 

irming, but she's hardly cold enough, I'm afr 
hardly clever enough. It takes a more serious type. She's 
a little too high-spirited. These old women would never 
want to get near her; she makes them look too old. She'd 
do better if she were not so young and so prtt 

"That's what I think exactly," said Bigger*. As a 
matter of fact, he did not think so at all; he had no power 
of drawing any such accurate conclusions. But he be- 
lieved it now, because Bradford Canda had said it. 



NEXT morninp. over the breakfast cups at the Norric 
Simmses' and elsewhere, the import of the Cowper- 
woods* social efforts was discussed ana the problem of th< :r 
rual acceptance or non-acceptance carefully wei. 

"The trouble with Mr*. Cowperwood," observed Mrs. 
Simms, "is that she is too gauftu. The whole thing was 
much too showy. The idea of her portrait at one < 
gallery and that Gerome at the other! And then this item 
in the Press this morning! Why, you'd really think 
were in society." Mrs. Simms was already a little angry 
at having let herself be used, at she now fancied sh< 
been, by Taylor Lord and Kent McKibben, both friends 
<f hers. 

"What did you think of the crowd?" asked Nor 
buttering a roll. 

"Why, it wasn't representative at all, of course, 
were the most important people they had there, and I'm 
sorry now that we went, who are the Israelses and the 
Hoecksemas, anyhow ? That dreadful woman!" (She was 
referring to Mrs. Hoecksema.) "I never listened to duller 
remarks in mv 1 

" I was talking to Haguenin of the Press in the aft< 
observed Norric. "He says that Cowperwood failed in 
Philadelphia before h came here, and that there were a 
lot of lawsuits. Did you ever hear that?" 

"No. But she says she knows the Drakes and the 
Walkers there. I've been intending to ask Nellie ; l 
that. I have often wondered why he should leave Phila- 
delphia if he was getting along so well. People don't 
usually do that." 

Simms was envious already of the financial showing 



Cowperwood was making in Chicago. Besides, Cowper- 
wood's manner bespoke supreme intelligence and con 
and that is always resented by all save the suppliants or the 
triumphant masters of other walks in life. Simms was 
really interested at last to know something more about 
Cowperwood, something definite. 

Before this social situation had time to adjust itself one 
way or the other, however, a matter arose which in its way 
was far more vital, though Ailcen might not have thought 
so. The feeling between the new and old gas comp. 
was becoming strained; the stockholders of the older 
organization were getting uneasy. They were eager to 
rind out who was back of these new gas companies which 
were threatening to poach on their exclude preserves. 
ily one of the lawyers who had been employed by the 
North Chicago Gas Illuminating Company to fight 
machinations of DC Soto Sippens and old General Van 
Sickle, finding that the Lake View Council had finally 
granted the franchise to the new company and that the 
Appellate Court was about to sustain it, hit upon the 

rging conspiracy and wholesale bribery of councilmen. 
Considerable evidence had accumulated that Duniway, 
Jacob Gerecht, and others on the North Side had been m 
fluenced by cash, and to bring legal action would delay 
final approval of the franchises and give the old company 
time to think what else to do. This North Side 
lawyer, a man by the name of Parsons, had been 
following up the movements of Sippens and old General 
Van Sickle, and had finally concluded that they were mere 
dummies and pawns, and that the real instigator in all this 
< ment was Cowperwood, or, if not he, then men v. h m 
he represented. Parsons visited Cowperwood's office one 
day in order to see him; getting no satisfaction, he proceeded 
to look up his record and connections. These va 
investigations and counter-schemings came to a head m a 
court proceeding filed in the United States Circuit ( 
late in November, charging Frank Algernon Cowperwood, 
Henry De Soto Sippens, Judson P. Van Sickle, and or 
wirh conspiracy; this again was followed almost imme- 
diately by suits begun by the West and South Side com- 



panics charging the same thine. In each case Cowper- 
wood'f name was rm-i .is the secret power behind r in- 

new companies, conspiring to force the old companies to 
buy him out. His Philadelphia history was published, but 

.irt a highly modified account he had fum 
rlu newspapers sometime before. Though conspiracy and 
bribery are ugly words, still lawyers' charges prove not hum. 
Bur a i try record, for whatever reason served, 

coupled with previous failure, divorce, and scandal (though 
rhr newspapers made only the most guarded reference to all 
this), served to whet public interest and to fix Cowperwood 
and his wife in the public 

Cowperwood himself was solicited for an interview, IMH 
his answer was that he was merely a financial agen 
the three new companies, not an investor; and that the 
charges, in so far as he was concerned, were untrue, mere 
legal fol-de-rol trumped up to make tlu situation as an- 
noying as possible. He threatened to sue for libel. N 
theless, although these suits eventually did come to noth- 
ing (for he had fixed it so that he could not be traced save 
as i financial agent in each case), yet the charges had been 
made, and he was now revealed as a shrewd, manipul 
. \\ith a record that was o spectacular. 

"I see," said Anson Merrill to his wife, one morning at 
breakfast, "that this man Cowperwood is beginning to get 

<m< m the papers." He had the Tiwus on the 
before him, and was looking at a head-line which, after the 
old -fashioned pyramids then in vogue, read: "Conspiracy 
charged against various Chicago citizens. Frank Algernon 
Cowperwood. Judson P. Van Sickle, Henry De Soto Sip- 
pens, and others named < ourt complaint." It 
on to specify other facts. "I supposed ne was just 
a broker." 

"I don't know much about them," replied his wife, "ex- 
cept what Bella Simms tells me. What does it say?" 

He handed her the paper. 

" I have always thought they were merely climbers," 
micd Mrs. Merrill. >m what I hear she is im- 

I never saw her." 

well for a Philadelphian," smiled Merrill. 
"I've seen him at the Calumet. He looks like a very 


papers these days, Addison r Y< 

Didn't you introduce him to me 

"I surely did," replied Additoi 

of the attacks on Cowperwood, 


shrewd man to me. He's going about his work in a brisk 
spirit, ar 

nilarly Mr. Norman Schryhart, a man who up to this 
time had taken no thought of Cowperwood, although he had 
noted his appearance about the halls of the Calumet 

n League Gubs, began to ask seriously who he was. 
Schryhart, a man of great physical and mental vigor, six 
feet tall, hale and stolid as an ox, a very different type of 
from Anson Merrill, met Addison one day at the 
Calumet Club shortly after the newspaper talk r>< 
Sinking into a great leather divan beside him, he ob- 

"Who is this man Cowperwood whose name is in the 
gapers these days, Addison? You know all these people. 


Addison, cheerfully, who, in spite 
iwperwpod, was rather pleased than 
It was auite plain from the concurrent ex< 
that attended all this struggle, that Cowperwood 
must be managing things rather adroitly, and, best of all, 
as keeping his backers' names from view. "He's a 
Philadelphian by birth. He came out here several years 
ago, and went into the grain and commission business. 
He's a banker now. A rather shrewd man, I should say. 
He has a lot of money." 

r true, as the papers say, that he failed for a mil 
in Philadelphia in 1871?" 

I n so far as I knov 

"Well, was he in the penitentiary down there?" 
"1 think so yes. I believe it was for nothing really 
criminal, though. There appears to have been tome politi- 

v-up, from all I can learn." 
"And is he only forty, as the papers say?" 
'] About that, [should judge. Why?" 
"Oh, this scheme of his looks rather pretentious to me 
ng up the old gas companies here. Do you suppose 
hr II manage to d 

w that. All I know is what I have read in 
the papers," replied Addison, cautiously. As a matter of 
fact, he did not care to talk about this business at all. 
Cowperwood was busy at this very time, through an agent, 



effect a compn-: 1 union of all interests 

It was not going very well. 

"Hum; -nmenteii .irt. He was wondering 

uhv mm like himself, Merrill, Arneel, and others had not 
work ^ ago or bought out the 

panies. He went a\v t sted, and a day or two later 

even the next morning had formulated a scheme. Not 
unlike Cowperwood, he was a shrewd, hard, cold man. \ It- 
believed in Chicago implicitly and in all that related to its 
future. This gas situation, now Cowperwood had 
seen the point, was very clear to him. 1 
not be impossible for a third party to step in and by intri- 
cate manipulation secure the much coveted rewards. Per- 
haps Cowperwood himself could be taken over who could 

Mr. Schryhart, being a very dominating type of person, 
did not believe in minor partnerships or investments It 
he v. . thins t' this kind it was his p 

to rule. He decided to invite Cowperwood to visir rhc 
r office and talk matters over. Accordingly, he 
had nis secretary pen a note, which in rat 1 erases 

<d Cowperwood to call "on a matter of imp 

Now just at this time, it so chanced, Cowperwood was 
feeling rather secure as to his place in the Chicago financial 
world, although he was still smarting from the bitterness 
of the aspersions re* ist upon him from various 

quarters. Under such circumstances it was his tem- 
perament to evince a rugged contempt for hum.* 

.md poor alike. He was well aware that Schryhart, 
iph introduced, had never previously troubled t 

"Mr. Cowperwood ben me to say," wrote Miss An- 
toinette Nowak, at his dictation, ''that he rinds hi: 

much pressed for time at present, but he would be 
glad to see Mr. Schryhart at his office at any time." 

1 his irritated the dominating, self-sufficient Schryhart a 
littlr. luit nevertheless he was satisfied that a conference 
could do no harm in this instance was advisable, in fact. 
So one Wednesday afternoon he journeyed to the office of 
Cowperwood, and was most hospitably received. 

low do you do, Mr. Schryhart/' observed Cowperwood, 


cordially, extending his hand. " I'm glad to see you again. 
I believe we met once before several years ago. 

"I think so myself," replied Mr. Schryhart, who was 
broad-shouldered, square-headed, black-eyed, and with a 
short black, mustache gracing a firm upper lip. He had 
hard, dark, piercing eyes. " Isee by the papers, if they can 
be trusted,' he said, coming direct to the point, "that you 
are interesting; yourself in local gas. Is that true?" 

"I'm afraid the papers cannot be generally relied < 
replied Cowperwood, quite blandly. "Would you mind 
telling me what makes you interested to know whether I 
am or not?" 

"Well, to tell the truth," replied Schryhart, staring at 
the financier, "I am interested in this local gas situation 
myself. It offers a rather profitable field for investment, 
and several members of the old companies have come to 
me recently to ask me to help them combine." (This was 
rrue at all.) " I have been wondering what chance you 
thought you had of winning along the Tines you are now 

Cowperwood smiled. " I hardly care to discuss that," 
he said, " unless I know much more of vour motives and 
connections than I do at present. Do I understand that 

have really been appealed to by stockholders <>: 
old companies to come in and help adjust this matter?" 

v," said Schryhart. 

" And you think you can get them to combine ? On w h a t 

"Oh, I should say it would be a simple matter to give 
each of them two or three shares of a new company for one 
in each of the old. We could then elect one set of officers, 
have one set of offices, stop all these suits, and leave every- 
body happy." 

Fie said tins in an easy, patronizing way, as though Cow- 
perwood had not really thought it all out years before It 
amazed the latter no little to see his own scheme patroniz- 
brought back to him, and that, too, by a very power- 
Man locally one who thus far had chosen to overlook 
hi in utterly. 

"On what basis/' asked Cowperwood, cautiously, 
"would you expect these new companies to come n 



"On the same basis as the others, if they are not too 
heavily capitalized. 1 h.ivi-n't thought out all the details. 
Two or three for one, according to investment. Of course, 
the prejudices of these old companies have to be con- 

Cowperwood meditated. Should or should ht not mn r- 
tain this offer? Here was a chance to realize quickly by 
selling out to the old companies. Only Schryhart, not him- 
self, would be taking the big end in this manipulative deal. 
Whereas if he waited even if Schryhart managed to com- 
rhr three old companies into one he might be able 
to force better terms. He was not sure. Finally he asked, 
" How much stock of the new company would be left in your 
hands or in the hands of the organizing group after each 
of the old and new companies had been provided for on this 
hasis ; " 

"Oh, possibly thirty-five or forty per cent, of the wh< 
replied Schryhart, ingratiatingly. The laborer is * 
of his hire. 

so," replied Cowperwood, smiling, "hut, seeing 
that I am the man who has been cutting the pole to knock 
this persimmon it seems to me that a pretty good share of 
that should come to me; don't you think sor 
>t what do you mean?" 

st what I have said. I personally have organized 
the new companies which have made this proposed com- 
bination possible. The plan you propose is nothing more 
than what I have been proposing for some time. The 
officers and directors of the old companies are angry at nu 
merely because I am supposed to have invaded the fields 
that belong to them. Now, if on account of that they are 
willing to operate through you rather than through me, 
it seems to me that I should have a much larger share in the 
surplus. My personal interest in these new compan 
not very large. I am really more of a fiscal agent than 
anything else." (Thit was not true, but Cowperwood 
preferred to have his guest think so.) 

Schryhart smiled. 'But, my dear sir," he explained, 
"you forget that I will be supplying nearly all the capital 
to do tf 

"You forget," retorted Cowperwood, "that I am not a 



ce. I will guarantee to supply all the capital myself, 
and give you a good bonus for your services, if you want 
that. The plants and franchises of the old and mu com- 
ics are worth something. You must remember that 
ago is gro\\ 

" I know that," replied Schryhart, evasively, "but I also 
know that you have a long, expensive fight ahead of you. 
As things are now you cannot, of yourself, expect to bring 
these old companies to terms. They won't work with you, 
as I understand it. It will require an outsider like myself 
some one of influence, or perhaps, I had better say, of 
old standing in Chicago, some one who knows these peo- 
ple to bring about this combination. Have you any one, 
do you think, who can do it better than I?" 

"It is not at all impossible that I will find some one," 
replied Cowperwood, quite easily. 

" I hardly think so; certainly not as things are now. The 
old companies are not disposed to work through you, and 
they are through me. Don't you think you had better 
accept my terms and allow me to go ahead and close this 
matter upr" 

"Not at all on that basis/' replied Cowperwood, quite 
simply. "We have invaded the enemies' country too far 
and done too much. Three for one or four for one what- 
ever terms are given the stockholders of the old companies 
is the best I will do about the new shares, and I must 
have one-half of whatever is left for myself. At that I 
will have to divide with others." (This was not true 

"No," replied Schryhart, evasively and onposingly, shak- 
ing his square head. " It can't be done. The risks are too 
1 might allow you one-fourth, possibly I can't tell 

"One-half or nothing," said Cowperwood, definitely. 

Schryhart got up. "That's the best you will do, i 
he inquired. 

The very best 

"I'm afraid then," he said, "we can't come to terms. 
I'm sorry. You may find this a rather long and ex- 
pensive nght." 

"I have fully anticipated that," replied the financier. 



f^OWPERWOOD, who had rebuffed Schryhart so cour- 
V^ teously but firmly, was to learn that he who takes the 
sword may well perish by the sword. His own watchful 
ney, on guard at the state capitol. where certificates 
of incorporation were issued in the city and village councils, 
in the courts and so forth, was not long in learning ti 
counter-movement of significance was under way. 
General Van Sickle was the first to report that something 
was in the wuui m connection with the North Side com- 
pany. He came in late one afternoon, his dusty grc;r 
thrown loosely about his shoulders, his small, soft hat low 
his shaggy eyes, and in response to Cowperwood's 
"Evening, General, what can I do for you?" seated himself 

"I rhink you'll have to prepare for real rough weather 
in the future, Captain," he remarked, addressing the finan- 
cier with a courtesy title that he had fallen in the habit 
of using. 

"What's the trouble now?" asked Cowperwood. 

"No real trouble as yet, but there may be. Some one 
I don't know who is getting these three old companies 
together in one. There's a certificate of incorporation 
been applied for at Springfield for the United Gas and 
Company of Chicago, and there are some directors' 
meetings now going on at the Douglas Trust Company. I 
got this from Duniway, who seems to have friends some- 
where that know." 

Cowperwood put the ends of his fingers together in his 
customary way and began to tap them lightly and rhyth- 

" Let me see the Douglas Trust Company. Mr. Simms 



is president of that. He isn't shrewd enough to organize 
a thing of that kind. Who are the incorporators ?" 

The General produced a list of four names, none of them 
officers or directors of the old companies. 

"Dummies, every one," said Cowperwood, smvnutlv. 
" I think I know," he said, after a few moments' reflei 
"who is behind it, General; but don't let that worry you. 
They can't harm us if they do unite. They're bound to sell 
out to us or buy us out eventually." 

Still it irritated him to think that Schryhart had suc- 
ceeded in persuading the old companies to combine on any 
basis; he had meant to have Addison go shortly, r 
as an outside party, and propose this very thing. Schry- 
i he was sure, had acted swiftly following their inter- 
He hurried to Addison's office in the Lake National. 

"Have you heard the news?" exclaimed that individual, 
the moment Cowperwood appeared. "They're planning 
to combine. It's Schryhart. I was afraid of that. Simms 
of the Douglas Trust is going to act as the fiscal agent. I 
had rmation not ten minutes ago.* 9 

"So did I. rr plied Cowperwood, calmly. "We should 
have acted a little sooner. Still, it isn't our fault exactly. 
Do you know the terms of agreerm 

"They're going to pool their stock on a basis of three to 
one, with about thirty per cent, of the holding company 
left for Schryhart to sell or keep, as he wants to. He 
guarantees the interest. We did that for him drove the 
game right into his bag." 

"Nevertheless," replied Cowperwood, "he still has us 
to deal with. I propose now that we go into the cfa 
council and ask for a blanket franchise. It can be had. 
should get it, it will bring them to tluir knees. We 
will really be in a better position than they are with these 
smaller companies as feeders. Wecanumr irsclves." 

" will take considerable money, won't it : " 

"Not so much. We may never need to lay a pipe or 
build a plant. They will offer to M II our, buy, or comlmu 
before that. We can fix the terms. Leave it to me. You 
don't happen to know by any chance this Mr. McKenty, 
who has so much say in local affairs here John J. 
McKenty r 



Cowperwood was referring to a man who was at once 
gambler, rumored owner or controller of a series of houses 
of prostitution, rumored maker of mayors and alder; 
rumored financial backer of many saloons and contracting 
companies in short, the patron saint of the and 
social underworld of Chicago, and who was naturally to be 
reckoned with in matters which related to the city and 
state legislative programme. 

"I ilon't," said Addison; "hut I can get you a l< 


"Don't trouble to ask me that now. Get me as strong 
an introduction as you can. M 

" I'll have <>MC for you to-day some time/' replied Addison, 
I'll send it over to you." 

Cow pel wood went out while Addison speculated as to 
this newest move. Trust Cowperwood to dig a pit into 
which the enemy might fall. He marveled sometimes at 
the man's resourcefulness. He never quarreled with the 
directness and incisiveness of Cow pel wood's act; 

The man, McKcnty, whom Cowperwood had in mind 
in this rather disturbing hour, was as interesting and 
forceful an individual as one would care to meet anywhere, 
a typical figure of Chicago and the West at the time, fie 
was a pleasant, smiling, bland, affable person, not unlike 
Cowperwood in magnetism and subtlety, but difT< 
decree of animal coarseness (not visible on the surface) 
which Cowperwood would scarcely have understood, and in 
a kind of temperamental pull drawing to him that vast 
pathetic life of the underworld in which his soul found its 

on. There is a kind of nature, not artistic, 
spiritual, in no way emotional, nor yet unduly philosophical, 
tnat is nevertheless a sphered content of life; stal- 

perhaps, and vet not utterly dark an agate tempera- 
. cloudy and strange. As a three-year-old child 
McKenty had been brought from Ireland by his emi 
parents during a period of famine. He had been raised 
on the far South Side in a shanty which stood near a maze of 

.id-tracks, and as a naked baby he had crawled < 
earthen floor. His father had been promoted to a section 
boss after working for years as a day-laborer on the ad- 
ig railroad, and John, junior, one of eight other 


children, had been sent out early to do many things to 
be an errand-boy in a store, a messenger-boy for a tele- 

h company, an emergency sweep about a saloon, and 
finally a bartender. This last was his true beginning. 
f'r he was discovered by a keen-minded politician and 
encouraged to run for the state legislature and to study 
law. Even as a stripling what things had he not learned 
robbery, ballot-box stuffing, the sale of votes, the appoint- 

power of leaders, graft, nepotism, vice exploitat 
all the things that go to make up (or did) the Arm 
world of politics and financial and social strife. I h< re is a 

.< assumption in the upper walks of life that there is 

mg to be learned at the bottom. If you could have 
looked into the capacious but balanced temperament of 
John J. McKenty you would have seen a strange wisdom 
there and stranger memories whole worlds of br 
tendernesses, errors, immoralities suffered, endured, even 
rejoiced in the hardy, eager life of the animal that has 

ng but its perceptions, instants, appetites to guide 

Vet the man had the air and the poise of a gentle- 

To-day, at forty-eight, Mv was an exceedingly 

important personage. Mis roomy house on the West Side, at 

ison Street and Ashland Avenue, was visited at si. 
times by financiers, business men, office-holders, priests, 
saloon-keepers in short, the whole range and gamut of 

<, subtle, political life. From Mckenty they could 
obtain that counsel, wisdom, surety, solution which all of 
them on occasion were anxious to have, and u huh in one deft 
way and another often by no more than gratitude and an 
acknowledgment of his leadership they were willing to 
pay for. To police captains ana officers whose places he 
occasionally saved, when they should justly have been dis- 
charged; to mothers whose erring boys or girls he took out 
of prison and sent home again; to keepers of bawdy houses 
whom he protected from a too harsh invasion of the graft- 
ing propensities of the local police; to politicians and 
saloon-keepers who were in danger of being destroyed by 
puMic upheavals of one kind and another, he seerm 
hours of stress, when his smooth, genial, almost an 
face beamed on them, like a heaven-sent son of light, a kind 


of Western pod, all-powerful, all-merciful, perfect. On the 
other haml, there were Migrates, uncompromising or phara- 

1 religionists and n : plotting, schi-mi: 

wh f"imJ him deadly to contend with. Then- were many 
henchmen runners from an almost imperial throne to do 
his hhKling. He was simple in dress and taste, married 
and (apparently) very happy, a professing though virtually 
- Catholic, a suave, genial Buddha-like man, 
powerful and enigma- 

When Cowperwood and McKcnty first met, it was on a 
spring evening at the latter's home. The windows of the 
large nouse were pleasantly open, though screened, and the 
were blowing faintly in a light air. Along with a 
sense of the new green life everywhere came a breath of 

On the presentation of Addison's letter and of another, se- 
cured through \ an SuLle from a well-known political judge, 
Cowperwood had been invited to call. On his arm.J h- 
was offered a drink, a cigar, introduced to Mrs. M> 
who, lacking an organized social life of any kiml. was always 
pleased to meet these celebrities of the upper worKl. i: 
for a moment and shown eventually into the library. 
Mrs. Mi-: is he might have observed if he had had 

the eye for it. v. as plump and fifty, a sort of superannuated 
Aileen, but still showing traces of a former hardy beauty, 
and concealing prettv well the evidences that she had once 
been a prostit It so happened that on this particular 
evening McKcnty was in a most genial frame of mind. 
There were no immediate political troubles bothering him 
just now. It was early in May. Outside the trees were 
budding, the sparrows and robins were voicing their several 
moods. A delicious haze was in the air, and some early 
mosquitoes were reconnoitering the screens which pro- 
tected the windows and doors. Cowperwood, in spite of 
troubles, was in a complacent state of mind 
himself. He liked life even its very difficult complica- 
tions perhaps its complications best of all. Nature was 
beautiful, tender at times, but difficulties, plans, plots, 
schemes to unravel and make smooth these things were 
what made existence worth while. 

"Well now, Mr. Cowperwood," McKenty began, when 



they finally entered the cool, pleasant library, "what can 
I do for you?" 

"Well, Mr. McKenty," said Cowperwood, choosing his 
words and bringing the finest resources of his temperament 
into play, "it isn't so much, and yet it is. I want a fran- 
chise from the Chicago city council, and I want you to help 
me get it if you will. I know you may say to me why not 
go to the councilmen direct. I would do that, except that 
there are certain other elements individuals who might 
come to you. It won't offend you, I know, when I say that 
I have al. ndcrstood that you are a sort of clearing- 

house for political troubles in Chicago." 

Mr. McKenty smiled. "That's flattering," he replied, 

Now, I am rather new myself to Chicago," went on 
Cowperwood, softly. "I have been here only a year or 
I come from Philadelphia. I have been interested 
as a fiscal agent and an investor in several gas companies 
that have been organized in Lake View, Hyde Park, and 
elsewhere outside the city limits, as you may possibly h.\. 
seen by the papers lately. I am not their owner, in the 
sense that I nave provided all or even a good part of the 
money invested in them. I am not even their manager, 
except in a very general way. I might better be called 
their promoter and guardian; but I am that for other 
people and myself." 

Mr. McKenty nodded. 

"Now, Mr. McKenty, it was not very long after I started 
out to get franchises to do business in Lake View arid Hyde 
Park before I found myself confronted by the interests 
which control the three old city gas companies. They were 
very much opposed to our entering the field in Cook County 
anywhere, as you may imagine, although we were not really 
n their field. Since then they have fought me 
with lav. suits, injunctions, and charges of bribery and 

"I know," put in Mr. McKenty. "I have heard some- 
thing of it." 

"Quite so," replied Cowperwood. "Because of tln-ir 
opposition I made them an offer to combine these three 
companies and the three new ones into one, take out a new 



charter, 2nd give the citv a uniform gas service. They 

1 not do that largely because I was an out si i! 
think. Since then another person. Mr. Svl. 
McKenty nodded "who has never had anything to do 
with the gas business here, has stepped in and ottered to 
combine them His plan is to do exactly what I w.r 
to do; only his further proposition is. once he has the three 
old companies united, to invade this new gas field of ours 
.ml hold us up, or force us to sell by ng rival 

chises in these outlying places. There is talk of combining 
these suburbs with Chicago, as you know, uhuh w 
allow these three down-town franchises to become mutually 
operative with our own. This makes it essential for us 
to do one of several things, as you may see either to sell 
out on the best terms we can now, or to continue the tight 
at a rather heavy expense without making any ar 
strike hack, or to get in- il and ask for a 

franchise to do business in the down-town section a gen- 
eral blanket franchise to sell ga^ ago alongside of 

>anies with the sole in' 

ourselves, as one of my officers is fondFof saying," added 
Cowperwood, humorous' 

McKenty smiled ag "I see," he said. that 

a rather large order, though, Mr. Cowperwood, seeking a 
new franchise? Do you suppose the general public v. 
agree that the city needs an extra gas company? It's true 
the old companies haven't been any too generous. My own 
gas isn't of the best." He smiled vaguely, prepared to lis- 

"Now, Mr. McKenty, I know that you are a pr.i 
man," went on Cowperwood, ignoring t 
44 and so am I. I am not coming to you with any \ 
story concerning my troubles and expecting you to I 
terested as a matter of sympathy. I realize that to go into 
the city council of Chicago with a legitimate propositi 
King. To V issed and approved by th< 

authorities is another. I need advice and assistance, and 
I am not begging it. If I could get a general franchise, 
such as I have described, it would be worth a very great 
deal of money to me. It would help me to close up and 
realize on these new compan h arc entirely sound 


and needed. It would help me to prevent the old com- 
panies from eating me up. As a matter of fact, I must have 
siu-h a franchise to protect my interests an me a 

running r hance. Now, I know that none of us arc 

in politics or finance for our health. If I could get s 
franchise it would be worth from one-fourth to one-half of 
all I personally would make out of it, providing my plan 
of combining these new companies with the old ones 
should n<> through say, from three to four hun 

arul dollars.' (Here again Cowperwood was not <]n it < 
frank, but safe.) "It is needless to say to you that I can 
command ample capital. This franchise would do that. 

iy, I want to know if you won't give me your 

political support in this matter and join in with me 

the basis that I propose? I will make it perfectly 

to you beforehand who my associates are. I *ill 

put all the data and details on the table before you 

so that von can see for yourself how things are. If you 

should find at any time that I have misrepresented any- 

thmi: von arc at full liberty, of course, to withdraw. As I 

he concluded, "I am not a beggar. I an 

ng here to conceal any facts or to hide anything whu h 
might deceive you as to the worth of all this to us. I want 
now the facts. I want you to give me your aid 
on such terms as you think are fair and equitable. Really 
the only trouble with me in this situation is that I am not 
a silk stocking. If I were this gas war would have been 
adjusted long ago. These gentlemen who are so willing 
to rcorg.r ugh Mr. Schryhart are largely opposed 

to me because I am comparatively a stranger in Chicago 
and not in their set. If I \vcre" he moved his hand 
slightly "I don't suppose I would be here this evening 

for your favor, although that does not say that I 

am not glad to be here, or that I would not be glad to work 

\sirh you in any way that I might. Circumstances simply 

have not thrown me across your path before." 

As he talked his eye fixed McKenty steadily* almost 

' ntly; and the latter, following him clearly, felt all the 
while that he was listening to a strange, able, dark, and 
very forceful man. There was no beating about the bush 
here, no squeamishness of spirit, and yet tnere was sul 



the kind McKenty liked. While he was amused by 
Cowperwopd's casual reference to the silk stockings who 
were keeping him out, it appealed to him. He caught the 
as well as the intention of it. Cowpcrwood 
represented a new and rather pleasing type of financier to 
him. itly, he was traveling in :f one 

1 believe the men who had introduced hir rrnly. 

NK K Cowpcrwood was well aware, had personally 

n. ir i the old companies and also though th 

diil n.t say no particular sympathy with them. 
were just remote MUM rporations to hin i* po- 

! >utc on demand, expecting polit 

turn. Every few weeks now they were in c< km;: 

ne gas-main franchise after another (spcv "leges 

in certain streets), asking for better (more profitable) linht- 
contrai-ts. asking f<>r dock privileges in thr : lower 

tax rate, and so forth and so on. NK Krnty did n.t pay 
i attention to these things pcrsonallv. He had a sub- 
ordinate : I. .1 very powerful henchman by the name 
k. Dowling, a meaty, vigorous Irishman and a t nu- 
ll-doe of gra ic machine, who worked with the 
mayor, trie city treasurer, the city tax receiver in fact, 
all the officers of the >n and sa\\ 
minor matters were properly equalized. Mr. Mi-r. 
had only met two or three of the officers of the South 
Gas Compan that quite casually. He did not like 
them very wc-ll. The truth was that the old companies 
were officered by men who considered politicians of the 
\Ii-Kenty .md Dowling stripe as very evil men; it" rru-v 
paid them and did other sucn wicked things it was because 
they were forced to do so. 

'\\Y11." McKenty replied, fingering his thin gold v 
chain in a thoughtful manner, "that's csting scheme 

you have. Of course the old companies wouldn't hk< 
asking for a rival franchise, but once you had it 
couldn't object very well, could they?" He smiled. Mr. 
McKenty spoke with no suggestion of a brogue, 
one point of view it might be looked upon as bad bus; 
but not entirely. They would be sure to make a great 
though they haven't been any too kind to the public 
:i selves. But if you offered to combine with them I 



sec no objection. It's certain to be as good for them in 
the long run as it is for you. This merely permits you to 
make a better bargain." 

said Cowperwood. 

>u have the means, you tell me, to lay mains in 
every part of the city, and fight with them for business if 

won't give in :" 

I have tne means," said Cowperwood, "or if I haven't 
I can cct them." 

Mr r \ looked at Mr. Cowperwood very solemnly. 

There was a kind of mutual sympathy, understanding, and 
admiration between the two men, but it was still heavily 
veiled by self-interest. To Mr. M Cowperwood was 

interesting because he was one of the few business men he 
had met who were not ponderous, pharasaical, even hypo- 
hen they were dealing with him. 

"\\. 11. I'll tell you what I'll do, Mr. Cowperwood. 
said, hn.illy. "I'll take it all under consideration. Let 
me think it over until M<>i >w. There is more of 

an excuse now for the introduction of a general gas ordir. 
th.m there would be a little later I can see \\hv 
you draw up your proposed franchise and let me see 
it? Then we might find out what some of the other gentle- 
of the city council think " 

Cowperwood almost smiled at the word "gentlem< 

"I have already done that," he said. "Here it is." 

McKenty took it, surprised and yet pleased at this 
dence of business proficiency. He likea a strong manipu- 
lator of this kind the more since he was not one hin 
and most of those that he did know were thin-blooded 
ami squeamish. 

"Let me take this," he said. "I'll sec you next Monday 
again if you wish. Come Monday." 

Cowperwood got up. "I thought I'd come and^talk to 
you direct, Mr. McKenty," he said, "and now I'm plad 
that I did. You will find, if you will take the trout 
look inr<> this matter, that it is just as I represent it. There 
is a very great deal of money here in one way and another, 
though it will take some little time to work it out." 

Mr \K-K.-nty saw the point. "Yes," he said, sweetly, 
"to be sir 



They looked into each other's eyes as they shook hands. 

"I'm not sure but you haven't hit upon a very good idea 
here," concluded M , sympathetically. 'A very 

good idea, indeed. Come and see me again next Monday, 
or about that time, and I'll let you know what I think. 

.my time you have anything else you want of in. 
I'll always be glad to see you. It's a fine night, i->n'r it : 
he added, looking out as they neared the door. "A nu< 
moon that!" he added. A sickle moon was in the sky. 
"Good nigh- 



THE significance of this is not long in manifest- 

in v At the top, in large affairs, life goes off 

into almost inexplicable tangles of personalities. Mr. 
McKenty, now that the matter had been called to his at- 
tention, was interested to learn about this pas situation 
tmm all sides whether it might not be more profitable to 
deal with the Schryhart end of the argument, and so on. 
Hut his eventual conclusion was that Cowperwood's plan, 
as he had outlined it, was the most feasible for political 
purposes, largely because the Schryhart faction, not being 
in a position where they needed to ask the city couru il f< r 
anything at present, were so obtuse as to forget to make 
overtures of any kind to the bucaneering forces at the 


When Cowperwood next came to McKenty's house the 
latter was in a receptive frame of mind. "Well," he said, 
after^a few genial preliminary remarks, "I've been learning 
what's going on. Your proposition is fair enough. Organ- 
ize y ipany, and arrange your plan conditionally. 
Then introduce your ordinance, and we 11 sec what can hr 
done." They went im a lonp, intimate discussion as to 
how the forthcoming stock should be divided, hov. r 
to be held in escrow by a favorite bank of Mr. McKt i 
until the terms of the agreement under the eventual affilia- 
tion with the old companies or the new union company 
should be fulfilled, and details of that sort. It was rather 
i plicated arrangement, not as satisfactory to Cowper- 
wood as it might have been, but satisfactory in that it per- 
1 him r<> urn. It required the undivided ser 
1 1 Van Sickle, Henry De Soto Sippens, Kent Bar- 


rows McKibben, and Alderman Dowling for some little 

Hut tin.illv || s tor the coup. 

On a certain Monday night, therefore, following the 
Thursday on \\hich, according to the rules of 
council, an ordinance of this character would have to be 
introduced, the plan, after bein^ publicly broached but this 
very little u b:l . was quickly considered by the city c<> 
and passt ! I here had been really no time for public 
discussion. This was just the thine, of course, that Cow- 
perwood and McKenty were trying to avoid. On the day 
following the particular Thursday on which the 
had been broached in council as certain to be brought up 
for passage, Schryhart, through his lawyers and the officers 
of the ol iual gas companies, had run to the news- 

papers and denounced the whole thing as plain robbery; 
but what were they to do? There was so little time for 
agitation. True the newspapers, obedient to this larger 
financial influence, began to talk of "fair plav r<> the old 

anics," and the usclcHBItll of two large n 
panies in the field when one would serve as well. Still the 
public, instructed or urged by the McKenty agents to the 
. were not prepared to believe it. They had not 
been so well treated by the old companies as to make any 
outcry* behalf. 

Standing outside the city council door, on the Monday 

ng when the bill was finally passed, Mr. Samuel 
Rlackn in. p:. .;.: nt of the South Side Gas Compar 

. wispy man with shoe-brush whiskers, declared em- 

" I his is a scoundrelly piece of Hitmrrr If the mayor 
signs that he should be impeached. There is not a 

- re to-night that has not been purchased not one. 

is a fine element of brigandage to introduce into 
Chicago; why, people who have worked years and years to 
build up a business are not safe!" 

"It's true, every word of r plained Mr. Jordan 

Jules, president of the North Side company, a short, stout 
man with a head like an egg lying lengthwise, a mere t 
of hair, and hard, blue eyes. He was with Mr. Hudson 
Baker, tall and ambling, who was president of the West 
Chicago company. All of these had come to protest. 



"It's that scoundrel from Philadelphia. He's the cause of 
all our troubles. It's high time the respectable business 
element of Chicago realized iust what sort of a man they 
have to deal with in him. He ought to be driven out of 
here. Look at his Philadelphia record. They sent him 
to the penitentiary down there, and they ought to do it 

Mr. Baker, very recently the guest of Schryhart, and 
his henchman, too, was also properly chagrined. "The 
man is a charlatan," he protested to Blackman. "He 
doesn't play fair. It is plain that he doesn't belong in 
respectable SOCK 

Nevertheless, and in spite of this, the ordinance was 
passed. It was a hitter lesson for Mr. Norman Schryhart, 
Mr. Nome Simms, and all those who had unfortunately 
become involved. A committee composed of all three of 
the old companies visited the mayor; but the latter, a tool 
.;i\ ing his future into the hands of the enemy, 
signed it just the same. Cowperwood had his franchise, 
and, groan as they might, it was now necessary, in the 

laee of a later day, "to step up and see the 
Only bchryhart felt personally that his score with Cow* 
peiwood was not setrlni. He would meet him on some 
other ground later. The next time he would try to fight 
fire with fire. But for the present, shrewd man that he 
was, he was prepared to compromise. 

Thereafter, dissembling his chagrin as best he could, he 
kept on the look Cowperwood at both of the . 

of which he was a member; but Cowperwood had avoided 
them during this period of excitement, and Mahomet w 
have to go to the mountain. So one drowsy June afternoon 
Mr. Schrvhart called at Cowperwood's office. He had 
on a bright. n< \v, steel-gray suit and a straw hat. From 
his pocket, accordinc to the fashion of the tin uded 

a neat, blue-bordered silk handkerchief, and his feet were 
immaculate in new, shining Oxford ties. 

" I'm sailing for Kuropc in a few days, Mr. Cowperwo< 
he remarked, genially, and I thought I'd drop round to see 
if you and I could reach some agreement in regard to this 
gas situation. The officers of the old companies naturally 
feel that they do not care to have a rival in the field, and 



I'm sure that you are not interested in carrying on a useless 
rate war that won't leave anybody any profit. I mull 
that you were willing to compromise on a half-and-half 
basis with me before, and I was wondering whether you were 
still of that mind." 

'Sir down, sit down, Mr. Schryhart," remarked GOWJ 
wood, cheerfully, waving the in \\ -corner to a chair. "I'm 
pleased to see you again. No, I'm no more anxious for 
a rate war than you are. As a matter of fact, I hope to 
avoid it; but, as you see, things have changed somewhat 
since I saw you. The gentlemen who have organized and 
invested their money in this new city gas company are per- 
fectly willing rather anxious, in fact to go on and estab- 
lish a legitimate business. They feel all the confidence in 
the world that they can do this, and I agree with them. A 
compromise might be effected between the old and the new 
o-mpanies, but not on the basis on which I was willing to 
settle some time ago. A new company has been orgai 

then, stock issued, and a great aeal of money expended." 
(This was not true.) "That stock will have to figure in any 
new agreement. I think a general union of all the com- 
panies is desirable, but it will have to be on a basis of one, 
two, three, or four shares whatever is decided at par 
for all stock involved." 

Mr. Schryhart pulled a long face. "Don't you think 
that's rather steep?" he said, solemnly. 

"Not at all, not at all!" replied Cowperwood. "You 
know these new expenditures were not undertaken volun- 
tarily." (The irony of this did not escape Mr. Schryhart, 
but he said nothing.) 

"I admit all that, but don't you think, since your shares 
are worth practically nothing at present, that you ought 
to be satisfied if they were accepted at par?" 

"I can't see why," replied Cowperwood. "Our future 
prospects are splendid. There must be an even adjustment 
here or nothing. What I want to know is how much 
treasury stock you would expect to have in the safe for the 
promotion of this new organization after all the old stock- 
holders have been satisfied?" 

"Well, as I thought before, from thirty to forty per cent, 
of the total issue, ' replied Schryhart, still hopeful of a 



profitable adjustment. "I should think it could be worked 
on that basis." 

"And who gets that?" 

" Why, the organizer," said Schryhart, evasively. "Your- 
self, perhaps, and myself." 

"And how would you divide it? Half and half, as be- 

"I should think that would be fair." 

"It isn't enough," returned Cowperwood, incisively. 
"Since I talked to you last I have been compelled to shoul- 
der obligations and make agreements which I did not antici- 
pate then. The best I can do now is to accept three- 

Schryhart straightened up determinedly and offensively. 
This was outrageous, he thought, impossible! The effront- 
ery of it! 

"It can never be done, Mr. Cowperwood," he replied, 
forcefully. "You are trying to unload too much worthless 
stock on the company as it is. The old companies' stock is 
selling right now, as you know, for from one-fifty to two- 
ten. Your stock is worth nothing. If you are to be given 
two or three for one for that, and three-fourths of the re- 
mainder in the treasury, I for one want nothing to do with 
the deal. You would be in control of the company, and it 
will be water-logged, at that. Talk about getting something 
for nothing! The best I would suggest to the stockholders 
of the old companies would be half and half. And I may 
say to you frankly, although you may not believe it, that 
the old companies will not join in with you in any scheme 
that gives you control. They are too much incensed. Feeling 
is running too high. It will mean a long, expensive fight, 
and they will never compromise. Now, if you have any- 
thing really reasonable to offer I would be glad to hear it. 
( )rlu rwise I am afraid these negotiations are not going to 
come to anything." 

"Share and share alike, and three-fourths of the re- 
mainder," repeated Cowperwood, grimly. "I do not want 
to control. If they want to raise the money and buy me 
out on that basis I am willing to sell. I want a decent 
return for investments I have made, and I am going to 
have it. I cannot speak for the others behind me, but as 


long as they deal through me that is what they will ex- 
Mr. Schryhart went angrily away. He was exceedingly 
wroth. This proposition as Cowperwood now outlined it 
was bucaneering at its best. He proposed for himself r<> 
withdraw from the old companies if necessary, to close 
out his holdings and let the old companies deal with Cowper- 
wood as best they could. So long as he had anything to do 
with it, Cowperwood should never n.iin control of the gas 
situation. Better to take him at his suggestion, raise the 
money and buy him out, even at an exorbitant figure. 
Then the old gas companies could go along and do bus; 
in their old-fashioned way without being disturbed. This 
bucaneer! This upstart! What a juick. force- 

ful move he had made! It irritated Mr. Schryhart 

The end of ail this was a compromise in which Cov. 
wood accepted one-half of the surplus stock of the 
general issue, and two for one of every share of stock for 
whu h his new companies had been organized, at the same 
time selling out to the old companies clearing out 
plctely. It was a most profitable deal, and he was enabled 
to provide handsomely not only for Mr. Mi K< 
Addison, but for all the or furs connected uith him. lr 
was a splendid coup, as Mv .md Addison assured 

him. Having now done so much, he began to turn his eyes 
elsewhere for other fields to concjuer. 

But this victory in one direction brought with it 
corresponding reverses in another: the social future of 
Cowperwood and Aileen was now in great jeopardy. 
hart, who was a force socially, having met with defeat 
.it the hands of Cowperwood, was now bitterly opposed 
to him. Nome Simms naturally sided with his old asso- 
ciates. But the worst blow came through Mrs. Anson 
Merrill. Shortly after the housewarming, and when the 
.irgument and the conspiracy charges were risini: to 
tfuir h'-ights, she had been to New York and had there 
chanced to encounter an old acquaintance of hers, Mrs. 
Martyn Walker, of Philadelphia, one of th< huh 

Cowperwood once upon a time had been vainly ambitious 
to enter. Mrs. Merrill, aware of the interest the Cowper- 


woods had aroused in Mrs. Simms and others, welcomed the 
opportunity to find out something definite. 

By the way, did you ever chance to hear of a Frank 
i Cowperwood or his wife in Philadelphia:" she 
inquired of Mrs. Walker. 

"Why, my dear Nellie," replied her friend, nonplussed 
that a woman so smart as Mrs. Merrill should even refer 
am, "have those people established themselves in 
_"> : His career in Philadelphia was, to say the least, 
spectacular. He was connected with a city treasurer there 
stole five hundred thousand dollars, and they both went 
to the penitentiary. That wasn't the worst of it! He 
became intimate with some young girl a Miss Butler, the 
I of Owen Butler, by the way, who is now such a power 
and She merely lifted her eyes. "While 
as in the penitentiary her father died and the family 
broke up. I even heard it rumored that the old gentleman 
killed hims<lf." (She was referring to Aileen's father, 
:ni Malia Butler.) " When he came out of the peniten- 
tiary Cowperwood disappeared, and I did hear some one 
say that he had gone West, and divorced his wife and mar- 
ried again. His tnst wife is still living in Philadelphia 
somewhere with his two children." 

Mrs. Merrill was properly astonished, but she did not 
show it. "Quite an interesting story, isn't it?" she com- 
mented, distantly, thinking how easy it would be to adjust 
the Cowperwood situation, and how pleased she was that 
she had never shown any interest in them. "Did you ever 
tee her his new wife?" 

"I think so, hut I forget where. I believe she used to 
ride and drive a great deal in Philadelphia." 
"Did she have red h 

"Oh yes. She was a very striking blonde." 
"I fancy it must be the same person. They have been 
in the papers recently in Chicago. I wanted to be sure." 
Mrs. Merrill was meditating some fine comments to be 
made in the future. 

"I suppose now they're trying to get into Chicago 
society?* Mrs. Walker smiled condescendingly and 
temptuously as much at Chicago society as at the 



"It's possible that they might attempt something like 
that in the East and succeed I'm sure I don't know," 
replied Mrs. Merrill, caustically, resenting the slur, "but 
attempting and achieving are quite different things in 
0m ago." 

The answer was sufficient. It ended the discussion. 
When next Mrs. Simms was rash enough to mention the 
Cowperwoods, or, rather, the peculiar publicity in connec- 
tion with him, her future viewpoint was definitely fixed for 

"If you take my advice," commented Mrs. Merrill, 
finally, "the less you have to do with these friends of yours 
the better. I know all about them. You might have 
seen that from the first. They can never be accepted." 

Mrs. Merrill did not trouble to explain why, but Mrs. 
Simms through her husband soon learned the whole truth, 
and she was righteously indignant and even terrified. Who 
was to blame for this sort of thing, anyhow? she thought. 
Who had introduced them? Tin- Addisons, of course. 
But the Addisons were socially unassailable, if not all- 
powerful, and so the best had to be made of that. But 
the Cowperwoods could be dropped from the lists of herself 
and her friends instantly, and that was now done. A sudden 
slump in their social significance began to manifest itself, 
though not so swiftly but what for the time being it \sas 
slightly decepn 

The first evidence of change which Aileen observed 
was when the customary cards and invitations for re- 
ceptions and the like, which had come to them quite 
freely of late, began to decline sharply in number, and 
when the guests to her own Wednesday afternoons, which 
rather prematurely she had ventured to establish, became 
a mere negligible handful. At first she could not under- 
stand this, not being willing to believe that, following so 
soon upon her apparent triumph as a hostess in her own 
home, there could be so marked a decline in her local 
importance. Of a possible seventy-five or fifty who might 
have called or left cards, within three weeks after the 
housewarming only twenty responded. A week later it had 
declined to ten, and within five weeks, all told, there was 
scarcely a caller. It is true that a very few of the unim- 



portant those who had looked to her for influence and the 
self-protecting Taylor Lord and Kent McKibben, who were 
commercially obligated to Cowperwood were still faithful, 
but they were really worse than nothing. Aileen was be- 
side herself with disappointment, opposition, chagrin, shame. 
There are many natures, rhinoceros-hided and iron-souled, 
who can endure almost any rebuff in the hope of eventual 
victory, who are almost too thick-skinned to suffer, but 
hers was not one of these. Already, in spite of her 
original daring in regard to the opinion of society and the 
rights of the former Mrs. Cowperwood, she was sensitive 
on the score of her future and what her past might mean 
to her. Really her original actions could be attributed to 
her youthful passion and the powerful sex magnetism of 
Cowperwood. Under more fortunate circumstances she 
would have married safely enough and without the scandal 
which followed. As it was now, her social future here 
needed to end satisfactorily in order to justify herself to 
herself, and, she thought, to him. 

"You may put the sandwiches in the ice-box," she said to 
Louis, the butler, after one of the earliest of the "at home" 
failures, referring to the undue supply of pink-and-blue- 
ribboned titbits which, uneaten, honored some fine Sevres 
with their presence. "Send the flowers to the 
The servants may drink the claret cup and lemonade. 
Keep some of the cakes fresh for dinm r." 

The butler nodded his head. "Yes, Madame," he said. 
Then, by way of pouring oil on what appeared to him to be 
a troubled situation, he added: "Eets a rough day. I 
suppose zat has somepsing to do weeth it." 

Aileen was aflame in a moment. She was about to ex- 
claim: "Mind your business!" but changed her mind. 
"Yes, I presume so," was her answer, as she ascended to 
her room. If a single poor "at home" was to be commented 
on by servants, things were coming to a pretty pass. She 
waited until the next week to see whether this was the 
weather or a real change in public sentiment. It was worse 
than the one before. The singers she had engaged had to 
be dismissed without performing the service for which they 
had come. Kent McKibben and Taylor Lord, very well 
aware of the rumors now flying about, called, but in a remote 



and troubled spirit. Aileen saw that, too. An affair of 
this kind, with only these two and Mrs. Webster I 
and Mrs. Henry Huddlcstone calling, was a sad indication 
of something wrong. She had to plead illness and excuse 
herself. The third week, fearing a worse defeat than 
before, Aileen pretended to be ill. She would see how 
many cards were left. There were just three. Thar 
the end. She realized that her "at homes" were a 
notable failure. 

At the same time Cowpcrwood was not to be spared his 
share in the distrust and social opposition which was 

f lis tirst inkling of the true state of affairs came in COD- 
nection with a dinner which, on the strength of an old in- 
vitation, they unfortunately attended at a time when Aileen 
was still uncertain. It had been originally arranged by the 
Sunderland Sledds, who were not so much socially, and 
who at the time it occurred were as yet unaware of the 
ugly gossip going about, or at least of society '> new attitude 
toward the Cowperwoods. At this time it was understood 
by nearly all the Simms, Candas, Cottons, and K 
lands that a great mistake had been made, and 
the Cowperwooas were by no means admissible. 

To this particular dinner a number of people, whom the 
latter knew, had been invited. Uniformly all, when they 
learned or recalled that the Cowperwoods were expected, 
sent eleventh-hour regrets "so sorry." Outside the Sledds 
there was only one other couple the Stanislau Hoeck- 
semas, for whom the Cowperwoods did not particularly care. 
It was a dull evening. Aileen complained of a headache, 
and they went home. 

Very shortly afterward, at a reception given by their 
neighbors, the Haatstaedts, to which they had long since 
been invited, there was an evident shyness in regard to 
them, quite new in its aspect, although the hosts themselves 
were still friendly enough. Previous to this, when strar, 
of prominence had been present at an affair of this kind 
they were glad to be brought over to the Cowperwoods, 
who were always conspicuous because of Aileen's beauty. 
On this day, for no reason obvious to Aileen or Cowpenfood 
(although both suspected), introductions were almost uni- 



formly refused. There were a number who knew them, 
and who talked casually, but the general tendency on the 
part of all was to steer clear of them. Cowperwood sensed 
the difficulty at once. "I think we'd better leave early," 
he remarked to Aileen, after a little while. "This i>n't 
very interesting. " 

They returned to their own home, and Cowperwood to 
avoid discussion went down-town. He did not care to say 
what he thought of this as yet. 

It was previous to a reception given by the Union 
League that the first real blow was struck at him personally, 
and that in a roundabout way. Addis<>n, talking to him 
at the Lake National Bank one morning, had said quite 
confidentially, and out of a clear sky: 

1 v. ant to tell you something, Cowperwood. You know 
by now something about Chicago society. You also know 
where I stand in regard to some things you told me about 
your past when I first met you. Well, there's a lot of talk 
going around about you now in regard to all that, and these 
clubs to which you and I belong are filled with a lot of 
two-faced, double-breasted hypocrites who've been stirred 
up by this talk of conspiracy in the papers. There are four 
or five stockholders of the old companies who are members, 
and they are trying to drive you out. They've looked up 
that story you told me, and they're talking about filing 
charges with the house committees at both places. Now, 
nothing can come of it in either case they've been talking 
to me; but when this next reception comes along you'll 
know what to do. They'll have to extend you an in vita- 
bur they won't mean it." (Cowperwood understood.) 
"This whole thing is certain to blow over, in my judgment ; 
it will if I have anything to do with it; but for the present 

He stared at Cowperwood in a friendly way. 

The latter smiled. "I expected something like this, 
Judah, to tell you the truth,' he said, easily. " I'v< 
pected it all along. You needn't worry about me. I know 
all about this. I've seen which way the wind is blowing, 
and I know how to trim my sails." 

Addison reached out and took his hand. "But don't 
resign, whatever you do," he said, cautiously. "That 
would be a confession of weakness, and they don't expect 


to. I wouldn't want you to. Stand your ground. 
This whole thing will blow over. They're jealous, I 

VIT inti-ndrd to," replied Cowperwood. "Thirt's 
no legitimate charge against me. I know it will all blow 
over if I'm givm time enough." Nevertheless he 
chagrined to think that he should be subjected to such a 
conversation as this with any one. 

Similarly in other ways "society" so called was quite 
able to enforce its mandates and com-lu- 

The one thing that Cowperwood most resented, when he 
learned of it much later, was a snub direct given to Aileen at 
the door of the Nome Simmses'; she called there only to tu- 
told that Mrs. Simms was not at home, although the car- 
riages of others were in the street. A few days afterward 
Aileen, much to his regret and astonishment for he did 
not then know the cause actually became ill. 

If it had not been for Cowpcrwood's eventual financial 
triumph over all opposition the complete routing of the 
enemy in the struggle for control in the gas situation the 
situation would have been hard, indeed. As it was, Aileen 
suffered bitterly; she felt that the slight was principally di- 
J at her, and would remain in force. In the privacy 
of their own home they were compelled eventually to ad- 
mit, the one to the other, that tneir house of cards, re- 
splendent and forceful looking as it was, had fallen to t he- 
ground. Personal confidences between people so closely 
united are really the most trying of all. Human souls are 
.intly trying to find each other, and rarely succeeding. 

"You know," he finally said to her once, when he came 
in rather unexpectedly and found her sick in bed, her eyes 
and her maid dismissed for the day, "I understand this is all about. To tell you the truth, Aih - 
r .it her expected it. We have been going too fast, you and 
I. We have been pushing this matter too hard. Now, I 
don't like to see you takmc it this way, dear. This battle 
isn't lost. Why, I thought you had more courage than 
this. Let me tell you something which you don't seem to 
remember. Money will solve all this sometime. I'm 
ning in this fight right now, and I'll win in others. They 
are coming to me. Why, dearie, you oughtn't to despair. 



You're too young. I never do. You'll win yet. We 
can adjust this matter right here in Chicago, and \\lu-n we 
do we will pay up a lot of scores at the same time. We're 
rich, and we're going t<> he richer. That will settle it. Now 
put on a ^ood face and look pleased; there are plenty of 
things to live for in this world besides society. Get up now 
and dress, and we'll co for a drive and dinner down-toun. 
You have me yt-r. Isn't that somethir. 

"Oh yes," sighed Aileen, heavily; but she sank back 

again. She put her arms about his neck and cried, 

uch out of joy over the consolation he offered as over 

the loss she had endured. "It was as much for you as for 

me," she sighed. 

"I know that," he soothed; "but don't worry about it 
now. You will come out all right. We both will. Come, 
get up." Nevertheless, he was sorry to see her yield so 
weakly. It did not please him. He resolved some day 
to have a grim adjustment with society on this score. 
Meanwhile Aileen was recovering her spirits. She was 
ashamed of her weakness when she saw how forcefully he 
faced it all. 

"Oh, Frank," she exclaimed, finally, "you're always so 
wonderful. You're such a darling." 

"Never mind," he said, cheerfully. " If we don't win this 
game here in Chicago, we will somewru 

He was thinking of the brilliant manner in which he had 
adjusted his affairs with the old gas companies and Mr. 
Schryhart, and how thoroughly ne would handle some 
other matters when the time came. 



ITwas during the year that followed their social repudiation, 
and the next and the next, that Cowperwood achieved 
a keen realization of what it would mean to spend the n-sr 
of his days in social isolation, or at least confined in his 
sources of entertainment to a circle or element which 
stantly reminded him of the fact that he was not identified 
with the best, or, at least, not the most significant, however 
dull that might he. When he had first attempted to intro- 
duce Ailt-en into society it was his idea that, however tame 
they might chance to find it to hegin with, they themselves, 
once admitted, could make it into something very interest- 
ing and even brilliant. Since the time the Cowperwoods 
had been repudiated, however, they had found it necessary, 
if they wished any social diversion at all, to fall back upon 
such various minor elements as they could scrape an ac- 
quaintance with passing actors and actresses, to whom 
occasionally they could give a dinner; artists and n 
whom they could invite to the house upon gaining an in- 
troduction; and, of course, a number of the socially un- 
important, such as the Haatstaedts, Hoecksemas, Videras, 
Baileys, and others still friendly and willing to come in a 
casual way. Cowperwood found it interesting from time 
to rime to invite a business friend, a lover of pictures, or 
some young artist to the house to dinner or for the eve- 
ning, and on these occasions Aileen was always presc nr. 
The Addisons called or invited them occasionally. Hut it 
was a dull game, the more so since their complete defeat 
was thus all the more plainly indicated. 

This defeat, as Cowperwood kept reflecting, was really 
not his fault at all. He had been getting along well enough 
personally. If Aileen had only been a somewhat dift< 



type of woman! Nevertheless, he was in no way prepared 
to desert or reproach her. She had clung to him through 
his stormy prison days. She had encouraged him when 
he needed encouragement. He would stand by her and 
see what could be done a little later; but this ostracism 
was a rather dreary thing to endure. Besides, personally. In- 
appeared to be becoming more and more interesting to men 
and to women. The men friends he had made he retained 
Addison, Bailey, Videra, McKibben, Rambaud, and 
others. There were women in society, a number of them, 
regretted his disappearance if not that of Aileen. Occa- 
ilv the experiment would be tried of inviting him with- 
out his wife. At first he refused invariably; later he went 
alone occasionally to a dinner-party w irhout her knowledge. 
It was during this interregnum that Cowperwood for 
the first time clearly began to get the idea that then 
a marked difference between him and Aileen intellectually 
and spiritually; and that while he might be in accord with 
her in many ways emotionally, physically, idyllicly 
there were, nevertheless, many things which he could do 
alone which she could not do heights to which he could 
rise where she could not possibly follow. Chicago so* 
might be a negligible quantity, but he was now to contrast 
her sharply with the best of what the Old World had to 
offer in the matter of femininity, for following their > 
expulsion in Chicago and his financial victory, he once 
more decided to go abroad. In Rome, at the Japanese and 
ilian embassies (where, because of his wealth. In- 
gained introduction), and at the newly established Italian 
Court, he encountered at a distance charming s 
figures of considerable significance Italian countesses, 
English ladies of high degree, talented American women 
ng artistic and social proclivities. As a rule they 
were quick to recognize the charm of his manner, the in- 
cisiveness and grip of his mind, and to estimate at all its 
worth the high individuality of his soul; but he could also 
always see that Aileen was n<>t so acceptable. She frai 
too rich in her entourage, too showy. Her glowing health 
and beauty was a species of affront to the paler, more sub- 
limated souls of many who were not in themselves un- 



"Isn't that the typical American for you," he heard a 
woman remark, at one of those large, very general court 
receptions to which so many are freely admitted, and to 
which Ailecn had been determined to go. He ;uling 

aside talking to an acquaintance he had made an l-.nulish- 
speaking Greek banker stopping at the Grand \l 
while Aileen promenaded with the banker's wife. 1 In 
speaker was an Englishwoman. "So gaudy, so 
conscious, and s< 

Cowperwood turned to look. It was Aileen, and the 
lady speak mu was undoubtedly well bred, thoughtful, 
good-looking. He had to admit that miu h that she said 
was true, but how were you to gage a woman like Aileen, 
anvhow? She was not reprehensible in any way ji. 
full-blooded animal glowing with a love of life. She 
e to him. Ir was too bad that people of obvi< 
more conservative tendencies were so opposed to her. Why 
could they not see what he saw a kind of childish en- 
thusiasm for luxury and show which sprang, perhaps, from 
the fact that in her youth she had not enjoyed the social 
opportunities which she needed and longed for. He felt 
sorry for her. At the same time he was inclined to feel 
that perhaps now another type of woman would be better 
for him socially. If he had a harder type, one with keener 
artistic perceptions and a penchant for just the right social 
touch or note, how much better he would do! He came 
home bringing a Perugino, brilliant examples of Luini, 
Previtali, and Pinturrichio (this last a portrait of Caesar 
:.i>, which he picked up in Italy, to say nothing of two 
red African vases of great size that he found in Cairo, a tall 
gilt Louis Fifteenth standard of carved wood that he dis- 
covered in Rome, two ornate candelabra from Venice for 
his walls, and a pair of Italian torcheras from Naples to 
decorate the corners of his library. It was thus by degrees 
that his art collection was growing. 

At the same time it should be said, in the matter of 
women and the sex question, his judgment and \ 
had begun to change tremendously. When he had 
met Aileen he had many keen intuitions regarding life and 
md above all clear faith that he had a right to do as 
he pleased. Since he had been out of prison and once more 

1 08 


on his upward way there had been many a stray glance 
cast in his direction; he had so often had it clearly t 
upon him that he was fascinating to women. Although he 
had only so recently acquired Aileen legally, yet sru 
years old to him as a mistress, and the first engrossing it 
had been almost all-engrossing enthusiasm was over. 
He loved her not only for her beauty, but for her faithful 
enthusiasm; but the power of others to provoke in him a 
momentary interest, and passion even, was something 
which he did not pretend to understand, explain, or moral- 
ize about. So it was and so ye was. He did not want to 
hurt Aileen's feelings by letting her know that his impulses 
thus wantonly strayed to others, but so it was. 

Not long after he had returned from the European 
trip he stopped one afternoon in the one exclusive dry- 
goods store in State Street to purchase a tie. As he 
was entering a woman crossed the aisle before him, from 
one counter to another a type of woman which he was 
coming to admire, but only from a rather distant point of 

. seeing them going here and there in the world. She 
was a dashing type, essentially smart and trig, with a neat 
figure, dark hair and eyes, an olive skin, small mouth, 
quaint nose all in all quite a figure for Chicago at the 
time. She had, furthermore, a curious look of current 
uiscinm m her eyes, an air of saucy insolence which aroused 
Cowpcrwood's sense of mastery, his desire to dominate. 
To the look of provocation and defiance which she flung 
him for, the fraction of a second he returned a curiously 
leonine glare which went over her like a dash of cold water. 
lot a hard look, however, merely urgent and full 
of meaning. She was the vagrom-minded wife of a pros- 
perous lawyer who was absorbed in his business and in 
himself. She pretended indifference for a moment after 
the first glance, but paused a little way off as if to examine 
some laces. Cowperwood looked after her to catch a 

id fleeting, attracted look. He was on his way to sev- 
eral engagements which he did not wish to break, but he 
took out a note-book, wrote on a slip of paper the name of 
a hotel, and underneath: "Parlor, second floor, Tuesday, 
i P.M." Passing by where she stood, he put it into her 
gloved hand, which was hanging by her side. The fin 



closed over it automatically. She had noted his action. 
On the day and hour suggested she was there, although he 
had given no name. That liaison, while delightful to him, 
was of no great duration. The lady was interesting, hut 
too fanciful. 

Similarly, at the Henry Huddlestones', one of their neigh- 
bors at the first Michigan Avenue house they occupied, he 
encountered one evening at a small dinner-party a girl of 
twenty- three who interested him greatly for the mo- 
ment. Her name was not very attractive Ella F. 
Huhby, as he eventually learned but she was not un- 
pleasing. Her principal charm was a laughing, hoyden- 
ish countenance and roguish eyes. She was the daughter of 
a well-to-do commission merchant in South Water Street. 
That her interest should have been aroused by that of 
Cowperwood in her was natural enough. She was young, 
foolish, impressionable, easily struck by the glitter of a 
reputation, and Mrs. Huddlestone had spoken highly of 

perwood and his wife and ^the great things he 
doing or was going to do. When Ella saw him, and saw 
that he was still young-looking, with the love of beauty 
in his eyes and a force of presence which was not at all 
hard where she was concerned, she was charmed; and when 
Aileen was not looking her glance kept constantly wander- 
ing to his with a laughing signification of friendship and 
admiration. It was the most natural thing in the world 
for him to say to her, when they had adjourned to the 
drawing-room, that if she were in the neighborhood of his 
office some day she might care to look in on him. The look 
ive her was one of keen understanding, and brought a 
look of its own kind, warm and flushing, in return. She 
came, and there henan a rather short liaison. It was in- 
teresting but not brilliant. The girl did not have sufficient 
temperament to bind him beyond a period of rather idle 

There was still, for a little while, another woman, whom 
he had known a Mrs. Josephine Led well, a smart widow, 
who came primarily to gamble on the Board of Trade, but 
who began to see at once, on introduction, the charm of a 
flirtation with Cowperwood. She was a woman not unlike 
Aileen in type, a little older, not so good-looking, and of a 



harder, more subtle commercial type of mind. She rather 
interested Cowperwood because she was so trig, self- 
sufficient, and careful. She did her best to lure him on 
to a liaison with her, which finally resulted, her apartment 
on the North Side being the center of this relationship. 
It lasted perhaps six weeks. Through it all he was quite 
satisfied that he did not like her so very well. Any one 
who associated with him had Aileen's present attractiveness 
to contend with, as well as the original charm of his first 
wife. It was no easy matter. 

It was during this period of social dullness, however, 
which somewhat resembled, though it did not exactly 
parallel his first years with his first wife, that Cowperwood 
finally met a woman who was destined to leave a marked 
impression on his life. He could not soon foreet her. 
Her name was Rita Sohlberg. She was the wife of Harold 
Sohlberg, a Danish violinist who was then living in Chicago, 
a very young man; but she was not a Dane, and ru 
by no means a remarkable violinist, though he had un- 
questionably the musical temperament. 

You have perhaps seen the would-be's, the nearly 's, t he- 
pretenders in every field interesting people all devoted 
with a kind of mad enthusiasm to trie thing they wish to 
do. They manifest in some ways ajl the externals or ear- 
marks of their professional traditions, and yet are as 
sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. You would have 
had to know Harold Sohlberg only a little while to 
appreciate that he belonged to this order of artists. 
He had a wild, stormy, November eye, a wealth of 
loose, brownish-black hair combed upward from the 
temples, with one lock straggling Napoleonically down 
toward the eyes; cheeks that had almost a babyish tint 
to them; lips much too rich, red, and sensuous; a nose 
that was fine and large and full, but only faintly aquiline; 
and eyebrows and mustache that somehow seemed to 
flare quite like his errant and foolish soul. He had been 
sent away from Denmark (Copenhagen) because he had 
been a ne'er-do-well up to twenty-five and because he \\as 
constantly falling in love with women who would not have 
anything to do with him. Here in Chicago as a teacher, 
with his small pension of forty dollars a month sent him 



by his mother, he had gained a few pupils, and by practising 
a kind of erratic economy, which kept him well dressed or 
hungry by turns, he had managed to make an interesting 
showing and pull himself through. He was only twenty- 
eight at the time he met Rita Greenough, of Wichita, 
Kansas, and at the time they met Cowperwood Harold was 
thirty-four and she twenty-seven. 

She had been a student at the Chicago Fine Arts School, 
and at various student affairs had encountered Harold 
when he seemed to play divinely, and when life was all 
romance and art. Given the spring, the sunshine on the 
lake, white sails of ships, a few walks and talks on pen- 
sive afternoons when the city swam in a golden haze, and 
the thing was done. There was a sudden Saturday after- 
noon marriage, a runaway day to Milwaukee, a return to 
the studio now to be fitted out for two, and then kisses, 
kisses, kisses until love was satisfied or eased. 

But life cannot exist on that diet alone, and so by de- 
grees the difficulties had begun to manifest themselves. 
Fortunately, the latter were not allied with sharp financial 
want. Rita was not poor. Her father conducted a small 
hut profitable grain elevator at Wichita, and, after her 
sudden marriage, decided to continue her allowance, though 
this whole idea of art and music in its upper reaches was 
to him a strange, far-off, uncertain thing. A thin, 
meticulous, genial person interested in small trade oppor- 
tunities, and exactly suited to the rather sparse social life 
of Wichita, he found Harold as curious as a bomb, and pre- 
ferred to handle him gingerly. Gradually, however, being 
a very human if simple person, he came to be very proud 
of it boasted in Wichita of Rita and her artist husband, 
invited them home to astound the neighbors during the 
summer-time, and the fall brought his almost farmer-like 
wife on to see them and to enjoy trips, sight-seeing, studio 
teas. It was amusing, typically American, naive, almost 
impossible from many points of view. 

Rita Sohlberg was of the semi-phlegmatic type, soft, 
full-blooded, with a body that was going to be fat at forty, 
but which at present was deliciously alluring. Having 
soft, silky, light-brown hair, the color of light dust, and 
moist gray-blue eyes, with a fair skin and even, white 



teeth, she was flatteringly self-conscious of her charms. 
She pretended in a gay, childlike way to be uncpnscious of 
the thrill she sent through many susceptible males, and 
yet she knew well enough all the while what she was doing 
and how she was doing it; it pleased her so to do. She 
was conscious of the wonder of her smooth, soft arms and 
neck, the fullness and seductiveness of her body, the grace 
and perfection of her clothing, or, at least, the individuality 
and taste which she made them indicate. She could take 
an old straw-hat form, a ribbon, a feather, or a rose, and 
with an innate artistry of feeling turn it into a bit of mil- 
linery which somehow was just the effective thing for her. 
She chose naive combinations of white and blues, pinks and 
white, browns and pale yellows, which somehow suggested 
her own soul, and topped them with great sashes of silky 
brown (or even red) ribbon tied about her waist, and large, 
soft-brimmed, face-haloing hats. She was a graceful dancer, 
could sing a little, could play feelingly sometimes bril- 
liantly and could draw. Her art was a makeshift, how- 
ever; she was no artist. The most significant thing about 
her was her moods and her thoughts, which were uncertain, 
casual, anarchic. Rita Sohlberg, from the conventional point 
of view, was a dangerous person, and yet from her own point of 
view at this time she was not so at all just dreamy and sweet. 
A part of the peculiarity of her state was that Sohlberg 
had begun to disappoint Rita sorely. Truth to tell, he 
was suffering from that most terrible of all maladies, un- 
certainty of soul and inability to truly find himself. At 
times he was not sure whether he was cut out to be a great 
violinist or a great composer, or merely a great teacher, 
which last he was never willing really to admit. "I am 
an arteest," he was fond of saying. "Ho, how I suffer 
from my temperament!" And again: "These dogs! 
These cows! These pigs!" This of other people. The 
quality of his playing was exceedingly erratic, even though 
at times it attained to a kind of subtlety, tenderness, aware- 
ness, and charm which brought him some attention. As 
a rule, however, it reflected the chaotic state of his own 
brain. He would play violently, feverishly, with a wild 
passionateness of gesture which robbed him of all ability 
to control his own technic. 



"Oh, Harold!" Rita used to exclaim at first, ecstatically. 
Later she was not so sure. 

Life and character must really get somewhere to be ad- 
mirable, and Harold, really and truly, did not seem to be 
getting anywhere. He taught, stormed, dreamed, wept; 
but he ate his three meals a day, Rita noticed, and he took 
an excited interest at times in other women. To be the 
be-all and end-all of some one man's life was the least 
that Rita could conceive or concede as the worth of her 
personality) and so, as the years went on and Harold 
began to be unfaithful, first in moods, transports, then in 
deeds, her mood became dangerous. She counted them 
up a girl music pupil, then an art student, then the 
wife of a banker at whose house Harold played socially. 
There followed strange, sullen moods on tne part of Rita, 
visits home, groveling repentances on the part of Harold, 
tears, vioU-nt, passionate reunions, and then the same thing 
over again. What would you? 

Rita was not jealous of Harold any more; she had lost 
faith in his ability as a musician. But she was disappointed 
that her charms were not sufficient to blind him to all 
others. That was the fly in the ointment. It was an 
affront to her beauty, and she was still beautiful. She was 
unctuously full-bodied, not quite so tall as Aileeq, not 
really as farge, but rounder and plumper, softer and more 
seductive, rhysically she was not well set up, so vigor- 
ous; but her eyes and mouth and the roving character of 
her mind held a strange lure. Mentally she was much more 
aware than Aileen, much more precise in her knowledge of 
art, music, literature, and current events; and in the field 
of romance she was much more vague and all tiring. She 
km\v many things about flowers, precious stones, insects, 
birds, characters in fiction, and poetic prose and verse 

At the time the Cowperwoods first met the Sohlbergs 
the latter still had their studio in the New Arts Building, 
and all was seemingly as serene as a May morning, only 
Harold was not getting along very well. Me was drifting. 
The meeting was at a tea given by the Haatstaedts, with 
whom the Cowperwoods were still friendly, and Harold 
played. Aileen, who was there alone, seeing a chance to 



brighten her own life a little, invited the Sohlbergs, who 
seemed rather above the average, to her house to a musical 
evening. They came. 

On this occasion Cowperwood took one look at Sohl- 
berg and placed him exactly. "An erratic, emotional tem- 
perament," he thought. "Probably not able to place him- 
self for want of consistency and application/' But he 
liked him after a fashion, bohlberg was interesting as an 
artistic type or figure quite like a character in a Japanese 
print might be. He greeted him pleasantly. 

"And Mrs. Sohlberg, I suppose, ' he remarked, feelingly, 
catching a quick suggestion of the rhythm and sufficiency 
and naive taste that went with her. She was in simple 
white and blue small blue ribbons threaded above lacy 
flounces in the skirt. Her arms and throat were delicious- 
ly soft and bare. Her eyes were quick, and yet soft and 
babyish petted eves. 

"You know," she said to him, with a peculiar rounded 
formation of the mouth, which was a characteristic of her 
when she talked a pretty, pouty mouth, "I thought we 
would never get heah at all. There was a fire" she pro- 
nounced it fy-yah "at Twelfth Street" (the Twelfth was 
Twelfth in her mouth) "and the engines were all about 
there. Oh, such sparks and smoke! And the flames 
coming out of the windows! The flames were a very dark 
red almost orange and black. They're pretty when 
they're that way don't you think so?" 

Cowperwood was charmed. "Indeed, I do," he said, 
genially, using a kind of superior and yet sympathetic air 
which he could easily assume on occasion. He felt as 
though Mrs. Sohlberg might be a charming daughter to him 
she was so cuddling and shy and yet he could see that 
she was definite and individual. Her arms and face, he tnUl 
himself, were lovely. Mrs. Sohlberg only saw before her a smart, 
cold, exact man capable, very, she presumed with brill- 
iant, incisive eyes. How different from Harold, she thought, 
who would never be anything much not even famous. 

"I'm so glad you brought your violin," Aileen was saving 
to Harold, who was in another corner. "I've been looking 
forward to your coming to play for us." 



"Very i !. I'm sure," Sohlberg replied, 

his sweety dr h a nize plaze you have here all 

loafly books, and jade, and gl.i 

He had an unctuous, vuMmg way \\hii-h was charming, 
Aileen thought. He should have a strong, rich v. 
take care of him. He was like a ston tic boy. 

After refreshments were served Sohlberg played. Cow- 
perwood was interested by his standing figure his eyes, 
im hair but he was much more interested in Mrs. 
Sohlberg, to whom his look constantly strayed. He 
watched her hands on the keys, her fingers, the dimples 
at her elbows. What an adorable mouth, he thought, 
ami li^ht, fluffy hair! But, more than that, there 
was a mood that invested it all a bit of tinted color of 
t^e mind that reached him and made him sympathetic and 
even passionate toward her. She was the kind of woman 
he would like. She was somewhat like Aileen when she 
was six years younger (Aileen was now thirty-three, and 
Mrs. Sohlberg twenty-seven), only Aileen had always been 
more robust, more vigorous, less nebulous. Mrs. Sohlberg 
(he finally thought it out for himself) was like the rich 
1 interior of a South Sea oyster-shell warm, colorful, 
itc. But there was something firm there, too. No- 
wht-re in society had he seen any one like her. She was 
rapt, sensuous, beautiful. He kept his eyes on her until 
finally she became aware that he was gazing at her, and 
then she looked back at him in an arch, smiling way, fixing 
math in a potent line. Cowperwood was captivated. 
Was she vulnerable? was his one thought. Did tnat faint 
smile mean anything more than mere social complaisance? 
Probably not, but could not a temperament so rich and full 
be awakened to feeling by his own f W r hen she was through 
ng he took occasion to say: "Wouldn't you like to 
stroll into the gallery? Are you fond of pictures?" He 
gave her his arm. 

"Now, you know," said Mrs. Sohlberg, quaintly very 
captivatingly, he thought, because she was so pretty "at 
one time I thought I was > be a great artist, 

that funny I I sent my one of my drawings in- 

scribed 'to whom I owe it all.' You would have to see 
the drawing to see how funny that 



She laughed softly. 

Cowperwood responded with a refreshed interest in life. 
Her laugh was as grateful to him as a summer wind. " See," 
he said, gently, as they entered the room aglow with the 
soft light produced by imttercd jets, "here is a Luini bought 
last winter." It was 'NThe Mystic Marriage of St. Catha- 
rine." He paused while she surveyed the rapt expression 
of the attenuated saint. "And here," he went on, "is my 
greatest find so t They were before the crafty counte- 

c of Caesar Borgia painted by Pinturrichio. 

hat a strange face!" commented Mrs. Sohlt 
naively. " I didn't know any one had ever painted him. 
He looks somewhat like an artist himself, doesn't he?" 
She had never read the involved and quite Satanic history 
of this man, and only knew the rumor of his crimes and 

"He was, in his way," smiled Cowperwood, who had 
had an outline of his life, and that of his father, Pope 
Alexander VI., furnished him at the time of the purchase. 
Only so recently had his interest in Cxsar Borgia begun. 
Mrs. Sohlberg scarcely gathered the sly humor of it. 

"Oh yes, and here is Mrs. Cowperwood," she com- 
mented, turning to the painting by Van Beers. "It's high 
in key, i < said, loftily, but with an innocent 

icss that appealed to him. He liked spirit and some 
presumption in a woman. "What brilliant colors! I like 
the idea of the garden and the clouds." 

She stepped back, and Cowperwood, interested only in 
her, surveyed the line of her back and the profile of her 
face. Such co-ordinated perfection of line and color! 
"Where every motion weaves and sings," he might have 
commented. Instead he said: " 1 hat was in Brussels. 
The clouds were an afterthought, and that vase on the 
L too." 

"It's very good, I think," commented Mrs. Sohlberg, 
and moved away. 

'How do you like this Israels?" he asked. It was the 
painting called "The Frugal Meal." 

"I like it," she said, "and also your Bastien Le-Page," 
referring t<> "The Forge." "But I think your old masters 
arc much more interesting. If you get many more you 


ought to put them together in a room. Don't you think 
sor I ilon't care for < vtiv miuh." Sh< 

a cute dr.jwl ulmh hr K.n.Mclrrcil infinitely alluring. 

"Why iv >od. 

"Oh, it's r.itlu-r :irtinVi;il; ilon't you think so? I like 
the color, but the women's bodies are too perfect, I should 
say. It's very j 

He had little faith in the ability of women aside from 
thrir value as objects of art; and yet 1 tlu-n. as in 

this instance, they revealed a swe< ' 

AM. Aileen, he reflected, would not be capable of 
making a remark such :* She was not as beautiful 

now as this woman not as alh , de- 

licious, nor yet as wise. Mrs. Sohlberg, he reflected sh : 

id .1 kind of fool for a husband. Would she take an 
n him, Frank Cowperwood? Would a woman like 
this surrender on any basis outside of divorce and mar- 
riage? He wondered. On her part, Mrs. Sohlberg 
thinking what a forceful man Cowperwood was, and how 
close he had stayed by her. She felt his interest, for she 
had often seen these symptoms in other men and knew 
what they meant. She km w the pull of her own beauty, 
.uul, while she heightened it as artfully as she dared, yet 
she kept aloof, too, feeling that she had never met any one 
as yet for whom it was worth while to be different. Hut 
Cowperwood he needed some one more soulful than 
Aileen, she thought. 



THE growth of a relationship between Cowpenvood 
and Rita Sohlberg was fostered quite accident- 
ally by Aileen, who took a foolishly sentimental interest 
in Harold which yet was not based on anything or 
meaning. She liked him because he was a superlatively 

>us, flattering, emotional man where women pi 
women were concerned. She had some idea she couKl 
semi him pupils, and, anyhow, it was nice to call at the 
Sohlberg studio. Her social life was dull enough as it was. 
So she went, and Cowpenvood, mindful of Mrs. Sohlberg, 
came also. Shrewd to the point of destnu n<>n, he em 
aged Aileen in her interest in them. He suggested that 
she invite them to dinner, that they give a musical at 
which Sohlberg could play and be paid. There were boxes 
at the theaters, tickets for concerts sent, invitations to 
drive Sundays or other days. 

The very chemistry of life seems to play into the hands 
of a situation of this kind. Once Cowpcrwood was think- 
ing vividly, forcefully, of her, Rita began to think in like 
manner of him. Hourly he grew more attractive, a strange, 
gripping man. Beset by his mood, she was having the 
aevu'l own time with her conscience. Not that anythmu 
had been said as yet, but he was invest in- her, gradually 
beleaguering her, sealing up, apparently, one avenue 
another of escape. One Thursday afternoon, when neither 
Aileen nor he could attend the Sohlberg tea, Mrs. Sohlberg 
received a magnificent bunch of Jacqueminot roses, 
your nooks and corners," said a card. She knew uell 
enough from whom it came and what it was worth. Tin re 
were all of fifty dollars, worth of roses. It gave her breath 
of a world of money that she had never known. Daily she 



saw the name of his hanking and brokerage firm advertised 
in the papers. Once she nu-t him in Mi-mil's store at noon, 
anil hr invited her to lunch; but she felt obliged to declnu . 
ie looked at her with such straight. MIMTOUS eyes. 
ink that her beauty had done or was doing this! Her 
mind, quite beyond herself, ran forward to an hour uiun 
perhaps this eager, magnetic man would take charge of 
h< r in a way never dreamed of by Harold. But she \v nt 
on practising, shopping, calling, reading, brooding over 
Harold's inefficiency, and stopping oddly sometimes to think 
the etherealized grip of Cowpcrwood upon her. Those 

-.:* hands of his how fine tney were and those I 
soft -hard, incisive eyes. The puritanism of Wichita (modi- 
fied sometime since by the art life of Chicago, such 
was) was having a severe struggle with the manipulative 
subtlety of the ages re-presented in this man. 

"You know you are very elusive," he said to her one 
.tt the theater when he sat behind her during the 
fntractf, and Harold and Aileen had gone to walk in the 
foyer. The hubbub of conversation drowned the sound of 
that might be said. Mrs. So hi berg was particu- 
larly pleasing in a lacy evening gown. 

"No," she replied, amusedly, Battered by his att< 
.md acutely conscious of his physical nearness. By de- 
grees she had been yielding herself to his mood, thrilln 
His every word. "It seems to me I am very stable," she 
went on. \ certainly substantial enou; 

She looked at her full, smooth arm lying on her lap. 

Cowperwood, who was feeling all the drag of her sub- 
stantiality, but in addition the wonder of her temperament, 
h was so much richer than Aileen's, was deeply moved. 
Those little blood moods that no words ever (or rarely) 
indicate were coming to him from her faint zephyr-like 
emanations of emotions, moods, and fancies in her mind 
whivh allured him. She was like Aileen in animahtv, hut 
better, still sweeter, more delicate, much richer spiritually. 
( >r was he just tired of Aileen for the present, he asked him- 
self at times. No, no, he told himself that could not be. 
Rita Sohlberg was by far the most pleasing woman he had 
ever known. 

"Yet, but elusive, just the same," he went on, leaning 



toward her. "You remind me of something that I can 

find no word for a bit of color or a perfume or tone a 

iLiNh of something. I follow you in my thoughts all the 

time now. Your knowledge of art interests me. I Irke vour 

H like you. You make me think of delightful 

things have nothing to do with the ordinary run of my 

Do you understate 

" It is very nice," sli f I do." She took a breath, 

softly, dramatically. "You make me think vain things, 
you know." (Her mouth was a delicious O.) "You paint 
a pretty picture." She was warm, flushed, suffused with a 
burst of ner oun tc mperament. 

"You are like that," he went on, insistently. "You 
make me feel like that all the time. You know," he 
added, leaning over her chair, "I sometim* s think you 
have never lived. There is so much that would complete 
your perfectness. I should like to send you abroad or 
take you anyh< should go. You arc very won- 

derful to me. Do you find me at all i; g to 


"Yes, hut" she paused i know I am afraid of 
all this and of you." Her mouth had that same deli 
formation \\huh had first attracted him. "I don't think 
we had better talk like this, do you? Harold is very 
jealous, or would be. What do you suppose Mrs. Cowper- 
wood would think?" 

44 1 know very well, but we needn't stop to consider t 
now, need we ? It will do her no harm to let me talk to you. 
is between individuals, Rita. You and I have very 
much in common. Don't you sec that? You are 
finitely the most interesting woman I have ever kn 

.ire bringing me something I have never known. Don't 
you see that? I want you to tell me something truly. Look 
at me. You are not happy as you are, arc you? Not per- 

"No." She smoothed her fan with her fingers. 

r you happy at il 

"I thought I was once. I'm not any more, I think." 
"It is so pi he commented. "You arc so much 

more Wonderful than your place gives you scope for. You 
are an individual, not an acolyte to swing a censer foi 



another. Mr. Sohlberg is very interesting, but you can't 
be happy that way. It surprises me you haven't sen 
"On/ she exclaimed, with a touch of weariness, "but 

;aps I h.i 

He looked at her keenly, and she thrilled. >n't 

think we'd better talk so here," she replied. " ': 

r be" 

He laid his hand on the back of her chair, almost touch- 
ing her shoulder. 

Rita," he said, using her given name again, "you 
wonderful worn. 

>h!" she breathed. 

Cowperwood did not see Mrs. Sohlberg again for over 
a week ten days exactly when one afternoon A 
came fur him in a new kind of trap, having stopped first 
to pick up the Sohlbergs. Harold was up i with 

.md she had left a place behind for Cowperwood 
with Rira. She did not in the vaguest way suspect h< 
terested he was his manner was so deceptive. AiU n 
imagined that she was the superior woman of the tw< 
better-looking, the better-dressed, hence the more ensnar- 
ing. She could not guess what a lure this woman's 
peramcnt had for Cowperwood, who was so brisk, dynamic, 
seemingly unromantic, but who, just the same, in his 
nature concealed (under a very forceful exterior) a deep 
underlying element of romance and fire. 

"This is charming," he said, sinking down beside Rita. 
"What a fine evening! And the nice straw hat with the 
roses, and the nice linen dress. My, my!" The roses were 
red; the dress white, with thin, green ribbon run through 
it here and there. She was kcenJV aware of the reason for 
his enthusiasm. He was so different from Harold, so 
healthy and out-of-doorish, so able. To-day Harold had 
been in tantrums over fate, life, his lack of success. 

"Oh, I shouldn't complain so much if I were you," she 
had said to him, bit* You might work harder and 

This had produced a scene which she had escaped by 
going for a walk. Almost at the very moment when she 
had returned Aileen had appeared. It was a way out, 



She had cheered up, and accented, dressed. So had Sohl- 
berg. Apparently smiling and happy, they had set our on 
the drive. Now, as Cowperwood spoke, she glanced :< 
her contentedly. " I'm lvt-ly." she thought, and he loves 
me. How wonderful it would be if we dared." But she 
said aloud: "I'm not so very nice. It's just the day 
don't you think so? It's a simple dress. I'm not very 
hari icr." 

\\h.jt's the matter?" he asked, cheeringly, the rumble 
of the traffic destroying the carrying-power of their voices. 
lit leaned toward her, very anxious to solve any difficulty 
l i might confront her, perfectly willing to ensnare her 
by kindness. "Isn't there something I can do? We're 
going now for a long ride to the pavilion in Jackson Park, 
then, a* ner, we'll come back by moonlight. 

t that be nice? You must be smiling now and like 
happy. You have no reason to be otherwise 

that I know of. I will d<> anything for you that you want 
done that can be done. You can nave anything you want 
that I can give you. What is it? You know how much I 
think of you. If you leave your affairs to me you would 
never have any troubles of any kind." 

"Oh, it isn't anything you can do not now, any- 
how. My affairs! Oh yes. What are they? Very 
le, .ill." 

Sne had that delicious atmosphere of remoteness even 
i herself. He was enchanted. 

"But you are not simnlc to me, Rita," he said, sot 
"n<>r are your affairs. Tncy concern me very much. You 
are so important to me. I nave told you that. Don't you 
see how t You are a strange complexity to me 

wonderful. I'm mad over you. Ever since I saw you last 
I have been thinking, thinking. If you have troubles let 
me share them. You are so much to me my only trouble. 
I can fix your life. Join it with mine. I need you, and 
you need me." 

<*," she said, "I know." Then she paused. "It's 
nothing much," she went on "just a quan 

"What ov< 

"Over me, really." The mouth was delicious. " I 
can't swing the censer always, as you say." That thought 


of his had stuck. "It's all right now, though. Isn't the 
day lovely, bc-yoot-i-ful!" 

Cowperwood looked at her and shook his head. She was 
such a treasure so inconsequential. Aileen, busy driving 
and talking, could not sec or hear. She was interested in 
Sohlberg, and the southward crush of vehicles on Michigan 
ring her attention. As they drove 
.swiftly past budding trees, kempt lawns, fresh-made flower- 
beds, open windows the whole seductive world of spring 
Cowperwood felt as though life had once more taken a 
start. His r had been visible, would have 

enveloped him like a glittering aura. Mrs. Sohlberg felt 
that this was going to DC a wonderful evening. 

The dinner was at the Park an open- ken a I* 

Maryland affair, with waffles and champagne to help out. 

n, flattered by Sohlberg's gaiety under her spell, was 
having a delightful time, jesting, toasting, laughing, walk- 
ing on the grass. Sohlberg was making love to her in a 
foolish, inconsequential way, as many men were iru lined 
to d< he was putting him off gaily with "silly boy" 

ami "hush." She was so sure of herself that she was free 
to tell Cowperwood afterward how emotional he was and 

she had to laugh at him. Cowperwood, quite certain 
that she was faithful, took it all in good part, bohlberg was 
such a dunce and such a happy convenience ready to his 
hand. "He's not a bad sort/ he commented. .tin r 

like him, though I don't think he's so much of a violinist." 
After dinner they drove along the lake -shore and 
out through an open bit of tree -blocked prairie land, 
the moon shining in a clear sky, filling the fields and 
topping the lake with a silvery effulgence. Mrs. Sohl- 
berg was being inoculated with the virus Cowperwood, 
ng deadly effect. The tendency of her 
own disposition, however lethargic it might seem, once it 

sirred emotionally, was to act. She was essentially 
dynamic and passionate. Cowperwood was beginning to 
stand out in her mind as the force that he was. It \s<u!d 
be wonderful to be loved by such a man. There would he 
an eager, vivid life between them. It frightened and drew 
her like a blazing lamp in the dark. To get control of her- 
self she talked of art, people, of Paris, Italy, and he re- 



sponded in like strain, but all the while he smoothed her 

hand, and once, under the shadow of some trees, he put 

his hand to her hair, turned her face, and put his mouth 

softly to her cheek. She flushed, trembled, turned pale, 

in the grip of this strange storm, but drew herself together. 

;is wonderful heaven. Her old life was obviously 

- to pieces. 

ten," he said, guardedly. "Will you meet me 
to-morrow at three just beyond the Rush Street bridge? 
I will pick you up promptly. You won't have to wait a 


She paused, meditating, dreaming, almost hypnotized by 
his strange world of fan^ 

"Will your he asked, eagerly. 

"Wait," she said, softly. "Let me think. Can I ?" 

She paused. 

"Yes," she said, after a time, drawing in a deep breath. 
"Yes" as if she had arranged something in her mind. 

"Mv sweet," he whispered, pressing her arm, while he 
looked at her profile in the moonlight. 

"But I'm doing a great deal," snc replied, softly, a little 
breathless and a little pale. 



f^OWPERWOOD was enchanted. He kept the pro- 
\_^ posed tryst with eagerness and found her all that he 
had hoped. She was sweeter, more colorful, more el 
than anybody he had ever known. In their charming 
apartment on the North Side which he at once engaged, 
and where he sometimes spent mornings, evenings, after- 
noons, as opportunity afforded, he studied her with the 
most critical eye and found her almost flawless. Sh< 
that boundless value which youth and a certain insoiu 
of manner contribute. There was, delicious to relate, no 
n her nature, but a kind of innate sufficiency 
h neither looked forward to nor back upon troublesome 
ills. She loved beautiful things, but was not extravagant; 
.mil what interested him and commanded his respect was 
urgings of his toward prodigality, however subtly 
advanced, could affect her. Sne knew what she wanted, 
r carefully, bought tastefully, arrayed herself in 
h appealed to him as the flowers did. His feeling for 
her became at times so great that he wished, one might 
almost have said, to destroy it to appease the urge and 
allay the pull in himself, but it was useless. The 
her endured. His transports would leave her refreshed 
apparently, prettier, more graceful than ever, it seemed 
to mm, putting back her ruffled hair with her hand, mouth- 
ing at herself prettily in the glass, thinking of many remote 
delicious things at once. 

"Do you remember that picture we saw in the an 
the other day, Algernon?" she would drawl, calling him by 
his second name, which she had adopted for herself as 
being more suited to his moods when with her and more 
to her. Cowperwood had protested, but she held 


to it. "Do you remember that lovely blue of the old 
man's coat?" (It was an " Adoration of the Magi.") 
isn't that be-yoot-i-ful?' f 

She drawled so sweetly and fixed her mouth in such an 
odd way that he was impelled to kiss her. "You clover 
blossom," he would say to her, coming over and taking her 
by the arms. "You sprig of cherry bloom. You Dresden 
china dream." 

"Now, are you going to muss my hair, when I've just 
managed to fix itF 

The voice was the voice of careless, genial innocence 
and the eves. 

"Yes, I am, minx." 

"Yes, but you mustn't smother me, you know. Really, 
you know you almost hurt me with your mouth. A 
you going to be nice to me?" 

"Yes, sweet. Hut I want to hurt you, too." 

'Well, then, if you mu- 

But for all his transports the lure was still there. She 
was like a butterfly, he thought, yellow and white or blue 
and gold, fluttering over a hedge of wild rose. 

In thrse intimacies it was that he came quickly to under- 
stand how miuh she knew of social movements and tend- 
<>ugh she was iust an individual of the outer fringe. 
She caught at once a clear understanding of his social point 
<>f view, his art ambition, his dreams of something bctt 
himself in every way. She seemed to see clearly that he had 
not as yet realized himself, that Aileen was not just the 
in t'r him, though she might be one. She talked of 
her own husband after a time in a tolerant way his foibles, 
defects, weaknesses. She was not unsympathetic, he 
thought, iust weary of a state that was not properly bal- 
anced either in love, ability, or insight. Cowperwood had 
suggested that she could take a larger studio for herself 
and Harold do away with the petty economies that had 
hampered her and him and explain it all on the grounds 
of a larger generosity on the part of her family. At 
she objected; but Cowperwood was tactful and finally 
brought it about. He again suggested a little while later 
that she should persuade Haroloto go to Europe. There 
would be the same ostensible reason additional means 



from her relatives. Mrs. Sohlberg, thus urged, petted, 
made over, assured, came finally to accept his liberal rule- 
to bow to him; she became as contented as a cat. With 
caution she accepted of his largess, and made the clev 
use of it she could. For something over a year neither 
Sohlberg nor Aileen was aware of the intimacy which 
had sprung up. Sohlbere, easily bamboozled, went back 
to Denmark for a visit, then to study in Germany. Mrs. 
Sohlbcrg followed Cowpcrwpod to Europe the following 
year. At Aix-Ies-Bains, Biarritz, Paris, even London, 
Aileen never knew that there was an additional figure in 
the background. Cowperwood was trained by Rita into a 

v finer point He came to know better n 

books, even the facts. She encouraged him in his idea of 
a representative collection of the old masters, and begged 
him to be cautious in his selection of moderns. He felt 
himself to be delightfully situated indeed. 

The difficulty with this situation, as with all such where 

an individual <-s thus bucaneeringly on the sea of 

fie possibility of those storms which result from 

misplaced confidence, and from our built-up system of 

I relating to property in women. To Cowpcrwood, 
however, who was a law unto himself, who knew no law 
except such as might be imposed upon him by his l.ick 
of ability to think, this possibility of entanglement, wr.ith, 
rage, tfered no particular obstacle. It v. .is not at 

all certain that any such thing would follow. Where tin- 
average man might have found one such liaison difficult 
to manage, Cowperwood, as we have seen, had previously 

ed on several such affairs almost simultaneously; and 
now he had ventured on yet another; in the last instance 

much Beater feeling and enthusiasm. The previous 
affairs had been emotional makeshifts at best more or 
less idle philanderings in which his deeper moods and feel- 
ings were not concerned. In the case of Mrs. Sohlber 

was changed. I r the present at least she v. 
all in all to him. But this temperamental character 
of his relating to his love of women, his artistic if not 

innal su! to their beauty, and the mystery of 

personalities led him into still a further affair, and 

last was not so fortunate in its outcome. 


Antoinette Nowak had come to him fresh from a West 
Side high school and a Chicago business college, and had 
I i MI engaged as his private stenographer and secretary. 
1 his girl had blossomed forth into something, 
as American children of foreign parents are wont to do. 
You would have scarcely believed that she, with her fine, 
lithe body, her good taste in dress, her skill in stenography, 
bookkeeping .nul business details, could be the daughter of 
a struggling Pole, who had first \\orkcd in the Southwest 
Chicago Steel Mills, and who had later kept a fifth-rate 
r. news, and stationery store in the Polish district, the 
merchandise of playing-cards and a back room for idling 
and casual gaming being the principal reasons for its 
existence. Antoinette, whose first name had not been 
Antoinette at all, but Minka (the Antoinette having been 
borrowed by her from an article in one of the Chicago 
Sunday papers), was a fine dark, brooding girl, ambr 
and hopeful, who ten days after she had accepted her new 
place was admiring Cowperwood and following his every 
daring movement with almost excited interest. To be the 

of such a man, she thought to even command his 
irm -rest, let alone his affection tnust be wonderful. After 
the dull world she had known it seemed dull compared to 
the upper, rarefied realms which she was beginning to 
glimpse through him and after the average men in tin 
real-estate office over the way where she had first worked, 
Cowperwood, in his good clothes, his remote mood, his easy, 

nanding manner, touched the most ambitious chords 
of her being. One day she saw Aileen sweep in fn-in hi r 
carriage, wearing warm brown furs, smart polished boots, 
a street-suit of corded brown wool, and a fur toque sharpened 
and emphasized by a long dark-red feather which shot 
upward like a dagger or a quill pen. Antoinette hated her. 

conceived herself to be better, or as good at least. 
Why was life divided so unfairly? What sort of a man was 

pcrwood, anyhow? One night after she had written 
out a discreet but truthful history of himself which he had 
dictated to her, and which she had sent to the Chicago 
newspapers for him soon after the opening of his brokerage 
office in Chicago, she went home and dreamed of what he 
had told her, only altered, of course, as in dreams. She 
5 129 


thought that Cowperwood stood beside her in his handsome 

ate office in La Salic Street and asked h 
"Antoinette, what do you think of me?" Antoinette 
was nonplussed, but brave. In her dream she found her- 
self intensely interested in him. 

"Oh, I don't know what t< think. I'm so sorry," was 
her ansv Then he laid his hand on hers, on 

cheek, and she awoke. She began thinking, what a 

a shame that such a man should < 
prison. He was so handsome. He had been ma 
twice. Perhaps his first wife was very homely or very 
mean-spirited. She thought of this, and the next day 
went to work meditatively. Cowperwood, engrossed in his 

plans, was not thinking of her at present. He was 
thinking of the next moves in his interesting gas war. 

Aileen, seeing her one day, merely considered her an 
underling. The woman in business was such a 
that as yet she was dtclassi. Aileen really thought nothing 
of Antoinette at all. 

Somewhat over a year after Cowperwood had become 
intimate with Mrs. Sohlbcrg his rather practical l-i, 
relations with Antoinette Nowak took on a more intimate 
color. V .> of this that he had already 

wearied of Mrs. Sohlberg? Not in the least. He was 
desperately fond of her. Or that he despised Aileen, 

\ he was thus grossly deceiving? Not at all. She 
was to him at times as attractive as ever perhaps more 
so for the reason that her self-imagined rights were 
being thus roughly infringed upon. He was sorry for 

Nut inclined to justify himself on the ground that 
these other relations with possibly the exception of 
Mrs. Sohlberg were not enduring. If it had been po 
to marry Mrs. Sohlberg he might have done so, and he did 
speculate at times as to whether anything would ever induce 

n to leave him; but this was more or less idle specula- 
tion. He rather fancied they would live out their 
together, seeing that he was able thus easily to deceive her. 

.s for a girl like Antoinette Nowak, she figured in 
that braided symphony of mere sex attraction v. 
somehow makes up that geometric formula of beat; 
rules the world. She was charming in a dark way, beauti- 



ful, with eyes that burned with :m unsatisfied fire; and 
Cowperwood, although at first only in the least moved by 
her, Decame by degrees interested in her, wondering at the 
amazin-, tm :ig power of the American atmos- 


"Are your parents English, Antoint asked her, 

one morning, v-ith that easy familiarity which lu assumed 
to all underlings and minor intellects an air that could not 
be resented in him, and which was usually accepted as a 

Antoinette, clean and fresh in a white shirt 
black walking-skirt, a ribbon of black velvet about In 
neck, and her long, black hair I. ml in a heavy braid low 
over her forehead and held close by a white celluloid comb, 
looked at him with pleased and grateful eyes. She had 
been used to such dift \ ;> ofmen the earnest, fiery, 

tble, sometimes drunken and swearing men of 
childhood, always striking, marching, praying in the 
Cathnlu churches; and then the men ofthe business world, 
crazy over money, and with no understanding of anything 
save some few facts about Chicago and its roomer- 
possibilities. In Cowperwood's office, taking his letters 
and hearing him talk in his quick, genial way with 
Laughlin, Sippens, and others, she had learned more of lift 
th.m she had ever dreamed existed. He was like a vasr 
open window out of whuh she was looking upon an al- 
illimitable landscape. 

"No, sir," she replied, dropping her slim, firm, white 
hand, holding a black lead-pencil restfully on her note- 
book. She smiled quite innocently because she was 

"I thought not," he said, "and yet you're American 

lon't know how it is," she said, quite solemnly. I 
have a hr<>ther who is quite as American as I am. We 
il<>n't < it her of us look like our father or mother." 

"What does your brother do?" he asked, indiffer- 

"He's one of the weighers at Ameel & Co. He expects 
to be a manager sometime." She smiled. 

Cowpcrwood looked at her speculatively, and after a 



momentary return glance she dropped her eyes. Slowly, 
in spite of herself, a telltale flush rose and mantled her 
brown cheeks. It always did when he looked at her. 

"Take this K-ttrr to General Van Sickle/' he began, on this 
occasion quite helpfully, and in a few minutes she had recov- 
ered. She could not be near Cowperwood for long at a time, 
however, without being stirred by a feeling which was not 
of her own willing. He fascinated and suffused her with 
a dull fire. She sometimes wondered whether a man so 
remarkable would ever be interested in a girl like 1 

The end of this essential interest, of course, was the 

rual assumption of Antnim -ttc. One might go through 

all the dissolving details of days in \%hi-h she sat taking 

ructions, going about her office 
duties in a state o? apparently chill, practical, cornm- 
sm-lc-mindedncss; but it would be to no purpose. As a 
rr of fai -tit in any way affecting the precise- 

nets and accuracy of her labor, her thoughts were alwavs 
upon the man in the inner office the strange master who 
was then seeing his men, and in between, so it seem 
whole world of individuals, solemn and commercial, who 
came, presented their cards, talked at times almost intt r- 
minablv, and went away. It was the rare individual, how- 
ever, snc observed, who had the long conversation with 
Cowperwood, and that interested her the more. His in- 
structions to her were always of the briefest, and he de- 
pended on her nam- intelligence to supply much that IK- 
scarcely more than suggested. 

"You understand, do you?" was his customary phrase. 

"Yes," she would reply. 

She felt as though she were fifty times as significant here 
as she had ever been in her life before. 

The office was clean, hard, bright, like Cowpcrwood him- 
self. The morning sun, streaming in through an air 
glass east front shaded by pale-green roller curtains, came 
to have an almost romantic atmosphere for her. Cowpcr- 
wood's private office, as in Philadelphia, was a solid ch 
wood box in which he could shut himself completely ^sight- 
proof, sound-proof. When the door was closed it was 
lacros.mct. He made it a rule, sensibly, to keep his door 
as much as possible, even when he was dictating, some- 


times not. It wai in these half-hours of dictation the door 
a rule, for he did not care for too much privacy 
that he and Miss Nowak came closest. After months and 
months, and because he had been busy with the other 
woman mentioned, of \\hom she knew IK. thing, she i 
to enter sometimes with a sense of suffocation, sorm -T 
of maidenly shame. It would never have occurred to her 
to admit frankly that she v, anted C 
love to her. It would have frightened her to have thought 
of herself as yielding easily, and yet there was not a detail 
of his personality that was not now burned in her brain. 
His lipht, thick, always smoothly parted hair, his wide, 
clear, inscrutable eyes, his carefully manicured hands, so 
full and firm, his fresh clothing of delicate, intricate pat- 
terns how these fascinated her! He seemed always re- 
mote except just at the moment of doing something, wlu-n, 
uslv enough, he seemed intense!. ICC and near. 

One day, after many exchanges of glances in which her 
own always fell sharply in the midst of a letter he arose 
and closed the half-open door. She did not think so much 
of that, as a rule-^-it had happened before but now, to-day, 
because of a studied glance he had given her, neither tender 
nor smiling, she felt as though something unusual were 
about to happen. Her own body was going not and cold by 
turns her neck and hands. She had a fine figure, finer 
than she realized, with shapely limbs and torso. Her head 
had some of the sharpness of the old Greek coinage, and 
her hair was plaited as in ancient cut stone. Cowperwood 
noted it. He came back and, without taking his seat, bent 
her and intimately took her hand. 

"Antoinette," he said, lifting her gently. 

She looked up, then arose for he slowly drew her 
breathless, the color gone, much of the capable practicality 
that was hers completely eliminated. She felt limp, b 
She pulled at her hand faintly, and then, lifting her eyes, 
fixed by that hare! hie cazeof his. Her head swam 

her eyes were filled with a telltale confusion. 


"Yes," she murmured. 

"You love me, don't you?" 

She tried to pull herself together, to inject some of her 


native rigidity of soul into her air that rigidity \\hich she 

always imagined would never desert her but it was gone. 

re came instead to her a picture of the far Blue Island 

iue neighborhood from which she emanated its low 

brown cottages, and then this smart, hard office and this 

strong man. He came out of such a marvelous world, 

apparently'. A strange foaming seemed to be in her blood. 

Sne was deliriously, deliciously numb and happy. 


"Oh, I don't know what I think," she gasped. "I- 
<>h ret;! do, I do/' 

"I like your name," he said, simply. "Antoinette." 
And then, pulling her to him, he slipped his arm about her 

She was frightened, numb, and then suddenl) , not so 
much from shame as shock, tears rushed to her eyes. She 
turned and put her hand on the desk and hung her head 
and sobbed. 

"Why. Antoinette," he asked, gently, bending over her, 

"are you so much unused to the world? I thought you 

vou loved me. Do you want me to forget all this and 

go on as before? I can, of course, if you can, you know." 

He knew that she loved him, wanted him. 

She heard him plainly enough, 
Do you?" he said, after a time, giving her momei 
l i to recover. 

"Oh, let me cry!" she recovered herself sufficiently t 
quite ! don't know why I'm just 

because I'm nervous, I suppose. Please don t mind me 

"Antoinette," he repeated, "look at me! Will you 

Oh no, not now. My eyes are so bad." 

"Antoinette! Come, look!" He put his hand under 
her chin "See, I'm not so terrible." 

"Oh." she said, when her eyes met his again, "I 
And then she folded her arms against his breast while he 
petted her hand and held her close. 

"I'm not so bad, Antoinette. It's you as much as it is 
me. You do love me, then?" 

"Yes, yes oh yes!" 



"And you don't mind : " 

"No. It's all so strange." Her face was hidden. 

"Kiss me, then." 

She put up her lips and slipped her arms about him. 
He held he r close. 

He tried teasingly to make her say why she cried, think- 
ing the while of what Aileen or Rita would think if they 
knew, but she would not at first admitting later that it 
was a sense of evil. Curiously she also thought of Aileen, 
and how, on occasion, she had seen her sweep in and out. 
Now she was sharing with her (the dashing Mrs. Cowru-r- 
wood, so vain and superior) the wonder of his affection. 
Strange as it may seem, she looked on it now as rather an 
honor. She had risen in her own estimation her sense 
of life and power. Now, more than ever before, she knew 
something of life because she knew something of km 
passion. The future seemed tremulous with promise, fin- 
back to her machine after a while, thinking of this. 
What would it all come to? she wondered, wildly. You 
could not have told by her eves that she had been crying. 
Instead, a rich glow in her brown cheeks heightened her 
beauty. No disturbing sense of Aileen was involved with 
all this. Antoinette was of the newer order that was bmm- 
ning to privately question ethics and morals. She had a 
right to her life, lead where it would. And to what it 
would bring her. The feel of Cowperwood's lips was still 
fresh on hers. What would the future reveal to her now? 



THE result of this understanding was not so important 
to Cowperwood as it was to Antoinette. In a vag- 
rant mood ne had unlocked a spirit here which was fiery, 
passionate, but in his case hopelessly worshipful. How- 
ever much she might be grieved by him, Antoinette, as he 
subsequently learned, would never sin against his personal 
welfare. Yet she was unwittingly the means of first open- 
ing the flood-gates of suspicion on Aileen, thereby estab- 
lishing in the Tatter's mind the fact of Cowperwood's per- 
sistent unfaithfulness. 

The incidents which led up to this were comparatively 
trivial nothing more, indeed, at first than the sight of Miss 
Nowak and Cowperwood talking intimately in his office one 
afternoon when the others had gone and the fact that she 
appeared to be a little bit disturbed by Aileen's arrival. 
Later came the discovery though of this Aileen could not 
be absolutely sure of Cowperwood and Antoinette in a 
closed carriage one stormy November afternoon in State 
Street when he was supposed to be out of the city. She 
was coming out of Merrill's store at the time, and just 
happened to glance at the passing vehicle, which was running 
near the curb. Aileen, although uncertain, was greatly 
shocked. Could it be possible that he had not left town? 
She journeyed to his office on the pretext of taking old 
Laughlin's dog, Jennie, a pretty collar she had found; 
actually to find if Antoinette were away at the same time. 
Could it be possible, she kept asking herself, that Cowper- 
wood had become interested in his own stenographer? The 
fact that the office assumed that he was out of town and 
that Antoinette was not there gave her pause. Laughlin 
quite innocently informed her that he thought Miss Nowak 



had gone to one of the libraries to make up certain reports. 
It left her in doubt. 

What was Aileen to think? Her moods and aspirations 
were linked so closely with the love and success of Cowper- 
wood that she could not, in spite of herself, but take fire at 
the least thought of losing him. He himself wondered some- 
times, as he threaded the mesh-like paths of sex, what she 
would do once she discovered his variant conduct. Indeed, 
there had been little occasional squabbles, not sharp, but 
suggestive, when he was trifling about with Mrs. Kittridge, 
Mrs. Ledwell, and others. There were, as may be imagined, 
from time to time absences, brief and unimportant, which he 
explained easily, passional indifferences which were not ex- 
plained so easily, and the like; but since his affections were 
not really involved in any of those instances, he had man- 
aged to smooth the matter over quite nicely. 

"Why do you say that?" he would demand, when she 
suggested, apropos of a trip or a day when she had not been 
with him, that there might have been another. "You 
know there hasn't. If I am going in for that sort of thing 
you'll learn it fast enough. Even if I did, it wouldn't 
mean that I was unfaithful to you spiritually." 

"Oh, wouldn't it?" exclaimed Aileen, resentfully, and 
with some disturbance of spirit. "Well, you can keep your 
spiritual faithfulness. I'm not going to be content with any 
sweet thoughts." 

Cowperwood laughed even as she laughed, for he knew 
she was right and he felt sorry for her. At the same time 
her biting humor pleased him. He knew that she did not 
really suspect him of actual infidelity; he was obviously 
so fond of her. But she also knew that he was innately 
attractive to women, and that there were enough of the 
philandering type to want to lead him astray and make 
ner life a burden. Also that he might prove a very willing 

Sex desire and its fruition being such an integral factor 
in the marriage and every other sex relation, the average 
woman is prone to study the periodic manifestations that 
go with it quite as one dependent on the weather a sailor, 
for example might study the barometer. In this Aileen 
was no exception. She was so beautiful herself, and had 



been so much to Cowperwood physically, that she had 
followed the corresponding evidences of feeling in him 
with the utmost interest, accepting the recurring ebullitions 
of his physical emotions as an evidence of her own enduring 
charm. As time went on, however and that was long 
before Mrs. Sohlberg or any one else had appeared the 
original flare of passion had undergone a form of subsidence, 
though not noticeable enough to he disturbing. Aileen 
thought and thought, but she did not investigate. Indeed, 
becat: 'he precariousness of her own situation as a 

nl u re she was afraid to do so. 

With the ai : Mrs. Sohlberg and then of Antoinette 

Nowak as factors in the potpourri, the situation became 
more difficult. Humanly fond of Aileen as Cowperwood 
was, and because of his lapses and her affection, desirous 
of being kind, yet for the time being he was aliei 
almost completely from her. He grew remote according 
as his clandestine affairs were drifting or Mazing, without, 
however, losing his firm grip on his financial affairs, and 
1 it. It worried her. She was so vain that 
she could scarcely believe that Cowperwood could Ion 
indifferent, and for a while her sentimental inten 
S<hl berg's future and unhappiness of soul beclouded her 
judgment; hut she finally began to feel the drift of affairs. 
The pathos of all this is that it so quickly descends into the 
realm of the unsatisfactory, the banal, the pseudo intimate. 
Aili-- cd it at once. She tried protestation s. "You 

kiss me the way you did once," and then a little later, 
"You haven't noticed me hardly for four whole days. 
What's the matterr 

"Oh, I don't know," replied Cowperwood, easily; "I 
guess I want you as much as ever. I don't see that I am 
any different. ' He took her in his arms and petted and 
caressed her; but Aileen was suspicious, nervous. 

The psychology of the human animal, when confronted 
by these tangles, these ripping tides of the heart, has little 
to do with so-called reason or logic. It is amazing how in 
the face of passion and the aft and the changing face 

of life all plans and theories by which we guide ourselves 
fall to the ground. Here was Aileen talking bravely at 
the time she invaded Mrs. Lillian Cowperwood's domain 



of the necessity of "her Frank" finding a woman suitable 
to his needs, tastes, abilities, but now that the possibility 
of another woman equally or possibly better suited to him 
was looming in the offing although she had no idea who 
it might be she could not reason in the same way. Her 
ox, God u the one that was being gored. What if 

}u should find some one whom he could want more than he 
did her? Dear heaven, how terrible that would be! What 
would she do? she asked herself, thoughtfully. She lapsed 
into the blues one afternoon almost cried she could 

dy say why. Another time she thought of all the 
terrible things she would do, how difficult she would make 
it for any other woman who invaded her preserves. 1 
ever, she was not sure. Would she declare war if she dis- 
covered another? She knew she would eventually; and 
, too, that if she did, and Cowperwood \M- re- 
set in his passion, thoroughly alienated, it would do no 
good. It would be terrible, but what could she do to win 
him back' That was the issue. Once warned, however, 
bv her suspicious questioning, Cowperwood was more me- 
chanically attentive than ever. He did his best to conceal 

iltered mood his enthusiasn !rs. Sohlberg, his 

interest in Antoinette Nowak and this helped somewhat. 
But finally there was a detectable change. Aileen noticed 
rer they had been back from Europe nearly a year. 
At this time she was still interested in Sohlberg, but in a 
h.umUssly Hirt.itious way. She thought he might be 
interesting p! , [nit would he be as delightful as 

Cowperwood? Never! When she felt that Cowperwood 
himself might be changing she pulled herself up at once, 
and when Antoinette appeared the carriage incident 
Sohlberg lost his, at best, unstable charm. She began to 
meditate on what a terrible thing it would be to lose Cow- 

>od, seeing that she had failed to establish herself 
socially. Perhaps that had something to do with his 
defection. No doubt it had. Yet she could not believe, 
after all his protestations of affection in Philadelphia, after 
all her devotion to him in those dark days of his degrada- 
tion and punishment, that he would really turn on her. 
No, he might stray momentarily, but if she protested 
enough, made a scene, perhaps, he would not feel so free to 



injure her he would remember and be loving and devoted 
again. After seeing him, or imagining she had seen him, 
in the carriage, she thought at first that she would question 
him, but later decided that she would wait and watch more 
closely. Perhaps he was beginning to run around with 
other women. There was safety in numbers that she 
knew. Her heart, her pride, was hurt, but not broken. 



THE peculiar personality of Rita Sohlberg was such 
that by her very action she ordinarily allayed sus- 
picion, or rather distracted it. Although a novice, she 
had a strange ease, courage, or balance of soul which kept 
her whole and self-possessed under the most trying of 
circumstances. She might have been overtaken in the most 
compromising of positions, but her manner would always 
have indicated ease, a sense of innocence, nothing unusual, 
for she had no sense of moral degradation in this matter 
no troublesome emotion as to what was to flow from a 
relationship of this kind, no worry as to her own soul, sin, 
social opinion, or the like. She was really interested in 
art and life a pagan, in fact. Some people are thus 
hardily equipped. It is the most notable attribute of the 
hardier type of personalities not necessarily the most 
brilliant or successful. You might have said that her soul 
was naively unconscious of the agony of others in loss. She 
would have taken any loss to herself with an amazing 
equableness some qualms, of course, but not many be- 
cause her vanity and sense of charm would have made her 
look forward to something better or as good. 

She had called on Aileen quite regularly in the past, with 
or without Harold, and had frequently driven with the 
Cowperwoods or joined them at the theater or elsewhere. 
She had decided, after becoming intimate with Cowper- 
wood, to study art again, which was a charming blind, for 
it called for attendance at afternoon or evening classes 
which she frequently skipped. Besides, since Harold had 
more money ne was becoming gayer, more reckless and 
enthusiastic over women, and Cowperwood deliberately 
advised her to encourage him in some liaison which, in case 


exposure should subsequently come to them, would effec- 

his hands. 

t him get in some affair," Cowperwood told R 
"We'll put detectives on his trail and get evidence. He 

have a word to say." 

"We don't really need to do that," she protested sweetly, 
naively. " 1 ! i in enough scrapes as it is. He's uivi n 

me some of the letters ' (she pronounced it "lettahs") 
" written him." 

"But we'll need actual witnesses if we ever need anything 
at all. Just tell me when he's in love again, and I'll do the 

"You know I think," she drawled, amusingly, "that he is 
now. I saw him on the street the other day with one of his 
students rather a pretty girl, too." 

Cowperwood was pleased. Under the circumstances he 
would almost have been willing not quite for Ailet n to 
umb to Sohlbere in order to entrap her and make his 
situation secure. Vet he really did not wish it in the last 
analysis would have been grieved temoorarily if she had 
deserted him. However, in the case of bohlberg, detti 
were employed, the new affair with the flighty pupil 
unearthed and sworn to by witnesses, and this, combim-il 
with the " lettahs" held by Rita, constituted ample material 
wherewith to "hush up' the musician if ever he became 
unduly o! >us. So Cowperwood and Rita's state was 

quite comfortable. 

But Aileen, meditating over Antoinette Now.ik, was be- 
side herself with curiosity, doubt, worry. She did not want 
to injure Cowperwood in any way after his hitter Phila- 
delphia experience, and yet when she thought of his desert- 
ing her in this way she fell into a great rage. Her vanity, 
as much as her love, was hurt. What could she do to 
j ustify or set at rest her suspicions ? Watch him personally ? 
She was too dignified and vain to lurk about street-corners 
or offices or hotels. Never! Start a quarrel without 
additional evidence that would be silly. He was too 
shrewd to give her further evidence once she spoke. He 
would merely deny it. She brooded irritably, recalling 
after a time, and with an aching heart, that her father 
had put detectives on her track once ten years before, 



and had actually discovered her relations with Cowperwood 
and their rendezvous. Bitter as that memory was tortur- 
ing yet now the same means seemed not too abhorrent 
to employ under the circumstances. No harm had come 
to Cowperwood in the former instance, she reasoned to 
herself no especial harm from that discovery (this was 
not true), and none would come to him now. (This also 
was not true.) But one must forgive a fiery, passionate 
soul, wounded to the quick, some errors of judgment. Her 
thought was that she would first be sure just what it was 
her beloved was doine, and then decide what course to take. 
But she knew that she was treading on dangerous ground, 
and mentally she recoiled from the consequences which 
might follow. He might leave her if she fought him too 
rly. He might treat her as he had treated his first 
wife, Lillian. 

She studied her liege lord curiously these days, wonder- 
ing if it were true that he had deserted her already, as he 
h.ul deserted his first wife thirteen years before, wondering 
if fie could really take up with a girl as common as An- 
toinette Nowak wondering, wondering, wondering h.i If 
afraid and yet courageous. What could be done with 
him? If only he still loved her all would be well yet but 

The detective agency to which she finally applied, after 
weeks of soul-racking suspense, was one of those disturb- 
ingly human implements which many are not opposed to 
'^ on occasion, when it is the only means of solving 
a troublous problem of wounded feelings or jeopani 
interests. Ailnn, being obviously rich, was forthwith 
shamefully overcharged; but the services agreed upon were 
wd! performed. To her amazement, chagrin, and distress, 
afu T a few weeks of observation Cowperwood was reported 
to have affairs not only with Antoinette Nowak, whom she 
did suspect, but also with Mrs. Sohlberg. And these two 
affairs at one and the same time. For the moment it left 
Aileen actually stunned and breathless. 

The significance of Rita Sohlberg to her in this hour was 

cr than that of any woman before or after. Of all 

living things, women dread women most of all, and of all 

women the clever and beautiful. Rita Sohlberg had been 



growing on Aileen as a personage, for she had obvi 
been prospering during this past year, and her b< 
had been amazingly enhanced thereby. Once Aileen had 
encountered Rita in a light trap on the Avenue, very hand- 
some and very new, and she had commented on it to Cow- 
pcrwood, whose reply had been: "Ikr father mu- 

ng some money. Sohlberg could never earn it for 

Aileen sympathized with Harold because of his tempera- 
hur shr knew that what Cow pcrwood said was true. 

Another time, at a box-party at the the.r had 

noted the rich elaborateness of Mrs. Sohlberc's damn- 
frock, the endless pleatings of pale silk, the startling charm 
of the needlework and the ribbons countless, resetted, 
small that meant hard work on the part of some one. 
'How lovely this is," she had commented. 

"Yes," Rita had replied, airily; "I thought, don't you 
know, my dressmaker would never get done working on 


It had cost, all told, two hundred and twenty dollars, 
and Cowperwood had gladly paid the bill. 

Aileen went home at the time thinking of Rita's taste 
and of how well she had harmonized her materials to her 
personality. She was truly charming. 

Now, howe\ n it appeared that the same charm 

that had appealed to her had appealed to Cowperwood, 
she conceived an angry, animal opposition to it all. Rita 
Sohlberg! Ha! A lot of satisfaction she'd get knowing, 
as she would soon, that Cowperwood was sharing his 
tion for her with Antoinette Nowak a mere stenographer. 
And a lot of satisfaction Antoinette would get the i 
upstart when she learned, as she would, that Cowperwood 
loved her so lightly that he would take an apartment for 
Rita Sohlberg and let a cheap hotel or an assignation-house 
do for her. 

But in spite of this savage exultation her thoughts kepf 
ng back to herself, to her own predicament, to torture 
and destroy her. Cowperwood, the liar! perwood, 
the pretender! Cowperwood, the sneak! At one moment 
she conceived a kind of horror of the man because of all 
his protestations to her; at the next a rage bitter, swelling; 



at the next a pathetic realization of her own altered posi- 
tion. Say what one will, to take the love of a man like 
ood away from a woman like Aileen was r> leave 
her high and dry on land, as a fish out of its native element, 

ike all the wind out of her sails almost to kill her. 
\\hatever position she had once thought to hold through 
him, was now jeopardized. Whatever joy or glory she 
had had in being Mrs. Frank Algernon Cowpcrwo< 
now tarnished. She sat in her room, this same day after 
the detectives had given their report, a tired look in her 
eves, the first set lines her pretty mouth had ever known 
snowing about it, her past and her future whirling pain- 
fully and nebulously in her brain. Suddenly she got up, 
and, seeing Cowpcrwood's picture on her dresser, his still 
impressive eyes contemplating her. she seized it and threw 
it on the floor, stamping on his handsome face with her 

y foot, and raging at him in her heart. The dog! 
The brute! Her brain was full of the thought of Rita 9 

" arms about him, of his lips to hers. The spectacle 
of Rita's fluffy gowns, her enticing costumes, was in her 
eves. Rita should not have him; she should not have 
thing connected with him, nor, for that matter, Antoinette 
Nowak, either the wretched upstart, the hireling. To 
think he should stoop to an office stenographer! Once on thought, she decided that he should not be allowed 
to a woman as an assistant any more. He owed it 
to her to love her after all she had done for him, the coward, 
and to let other women alone. Her brain whirled with 
strange thoughts. She was really not sane in her present 
state. She was so wrought up by her prospective loss that 
she could onlv think of rash, impossible, destructive tf 
to dp. She dressed swiftly, feverishly, and, calling a closed 

age from the coach-house, ordered herself to be driven 
to the New Arts Building. She would show this ros> 
of a this smiling piece of impertinence, this she- 

. uhethcr she would lure Cowperwopd away. She 
meditated as she rode. She would not sit back and be 
robbed as Mrs. Cowperwood had been by her. Never! 
He could not treat her that way. She would die first! 
She would kill Rita Sohlberg and Antoinette Nowak and 
Cowperwood and herself first. She would prefer to die 



that way rather than lose his love. Oh yes, a thousand 

Fortunately, Rita Sohlherg was not at the New Arts 
Building, or Sohlhcrp, either, liny had gone to a recep- 
tion. NOr was she at the apartment on the North Side, 
where, under the name of Jacobs, as Aileen had been in- 
formed by the detectives, she and Cowperwood kept 
occasional tryst. Aileen hesitated for a moment, feeling 
it useless to wait, then she ordered the coachman to drive 
to her husband's office. It was now nearly five o'clock. 
Antoinette and Cowperwood had both gone, but she did 
not know it. She changed her mind, however, before she 
reached the office for it was Rita Sohlberg she wished to 
reach first and ordered her coachman to drive back to 
the Sohlberg studio. But still they had not returned. In 
a kind of aimless rage she went home, wondering how she 
should reach Rita Sohlberg first and alone. Then, to her 
savage delight, the game walked into her bag. The Sohl- 
bergs, returning home at six o'clock from some reception 
farther out Michigan Avenue, had stopped, at the wish of 
Harold, merely to pass the time of day with Mrs. Cowper- 
wood. Rita was exquisite in a pale-blue and lavender 
concoction, with silver braid worked in here and there. 
Her gloves and shoes were pungent bits of romance, her 
hat a dream of graceful lines. At the sight of her, Aileen, 
\\h<> was still in the hall and had opened the door herself, 
v burned to seize her by the throat and strike her; but 
she restrained herself sufficiently to say, "Come in." She 
still had sense enough and self-possession enough to con- 
her wrath and to close the door. Beside his wife 
Harold was standing, offensively smug and inefficient in 
the fashionable frock-coat and silk hat of the time, a re- 
ninjz influence as yet. He was bowing and smiling: 

"Oh. This sound was neither an "oh" nor an "ah," 
but a kind of Danish inflected "awe," which was usually 
not unpleasing to hear. "How are you, once more, Meeses 
Cowperwood? It eez sudge a pleasure to see you again 
awe. ' 

"Won't you two just go in the reception-room a mo- 
ment," said Aileen, almost hoarsely. "I'll be right in. I 
want to get something." Then, as an afterthought, she 


called very sweetly: "Oh, Mrs. Sohlberg, won't you come 
up to my room for a moment? I have something I want 
to show you." 

Rita responded promptly. She always felt it incumbent 
upon her to be very nice to Aileen. 

"We have only a moment to stay," she replied, archly 
and sweetly, and coming out in the hall, "but I'll come 

Aileen stayed to see her go first, then followed up-stairs 
swiftly, surely, entered after Rita, and closed the door. 
With a courage and rage born of a purely animal despair, 
she turned and locked it; then she wheeled swiftly, her 
eyes lit with a savage fire, her cheeks pale, but later aflame, 
her hands, her fingers working in a strange, unconscious 

"So," she said, looking at Rita, and coming toward her 
quickly and angrily, "you'll steal my husband, will you? 
You'll live in a secret apartment, will you? You'll come 
here smiling and lying to me, will you? You beast! You 
cat! You prostitute! I'll show you now! You tow- 
headed beast! I know you now for what you are! I'll 
teach you once for all! Take that, and that, and that!" 

Suiting action to word, Aileen had descended upon her 
in a whirlwind, animal fashion, striking, scratching, chok- 
ing, tearing her visitor's hat from her head, ripping the 
laces from her neck, beating her in the face, and clutching 
violently at her hair and throat to choke and mar her 
beauty if she could. For the moment she was really crazy 
with rage. 

By the suddenness of this onslaught Rita Sohlberg was 
taken back completely. It all came so swiftly, so terribly, 
she scarcely realized what was happening before the storm 
upon her. There was no time for arguments, pleas, 
anything. Terrified, shamed, nonplussed, she went down 
quite limply under this almost lightning attack. When 
Aileen began to strike her she attempted in vain to defend 
herself, uttering at the same time piercing screams which 
could be heard throughout the house. She screamed 
shrilly, strangely, like a wild dying animal. On the in- 
stant all her fine, civilized poise had deserted her. From 
the sweetness and delicacy of the reception atmosphere 



the polite cooings, p< I moutl. harming 

to contemplate, so alluring in her she had dropped on 
the instant to that native animal condition that sh\vs 
itself in t\ .ir. Her eyes had a look of hunted horror, her 
lips and cheeks were pale and drawn. She retreated in .1 
staggering, ungraceful way; she writhed and squirmed, 
screaming in the strong clutch of the irate and vigorous 

Cowperwood entered the lull below just before the 
screams began. He had followed the Sohlbergs al 
immediately from his office, an*!, .; to glance in the 

reception-room, he had observed Sohlberg smiling, rad 
an intangible air of self-ingratiating, social, and artistic- 
sycophancy about him, Ins long black frock-coat but- 
toned smoothly around his body, his silk hat still in his 

"Awe, how do you do, Meezter Cowperwood," he was 
beginning to say, his curly head shaking in a friendly 
manner, "I'm soa glad to see you again" when but 
who can imitate a scream of terror? We have no words, 
no symbols even, for those essential sounds of fright and 
agony. They filled the hall, the library, the nvrptinn- 
room, the distant kitchen even, and basement with a kind 
of vibrant terror. 

Cowperwopd, always the man of action as opposed to 
nervous cogitation, braced up on the instant like taut 
. for heaven's sake, could that be? What a 
terrible cry! Sohlberg the artist, responding like a cha- 
meleon to the various emotional complexions of life, began 
to breathe stertorously, to blanch, to lose control of him- 

"My God!" he exclaimed, throwing up his hands, " that's 
Rita! She's up-stairs in your wife's room! Something 
must have happened. Oh On the instant he was 
quite beside himself, terrified, shaking, almost useless. 
Cowperwood, on the contrary, without a moment's h< 
tion nad thrown his coat to the floor, dashed up the stairs, 
followed by Sohlbere. What could it be? Where 
Aileen? As he bounded upward a clear sense of something 
untoward came over him; it was sickening, terrifying. 
Scream! Scream! Scream! came the sounds. "Oh, my 



God! don't kill me! Help! Help!" Swam this last 
a long, terrified, ear-piercing wail. 

Sohlberg was about to drop from heart failure, he was so 
frightened. His face was an ashen gray. Cowperwood 
seized the door-knob vigorously and, hnding the door 
locked, shook, rattled, and banged at ir. 

"Aileen!" he called, sharply. "Aileen! What's the 
rer in there? Open this door, Aile. 

"Oh, my God! Oh, help! heir' Oh, mercy-o-o-o-o-oh!" 

Ir was the moaning voice of Rita. 

"I'll show you, you she-devil!" he heard Aileen calling. 
"I'll teach you, you beast! You cat, you prostitute! 
There! there! then 

"Aileen!" he called, hoarsely. "Aileen!" Then, getting 
no response, and the screams continuing, he turned angrily. 

"Stand back!" he exclaimed to Sohlberg, who was moan- 
ing helplessly. "Get me a chair, get me a table any- 
thmLj." The butler ran to obey, but before he could return 
Cowperwood had found an implement, "Here!" he said, 
seizing a long, thin, heavily carved and heavily wrought oak 
ch.iir which stood at the head of the stairs on the landing. 
He whirled it vigorously over his head. Smash! 1 In- 
sound rose louder th.m the screams inside. 

Smash! The chair creaked and almost broke, but the 
door did not 

Smash! The chair broke and the door flew open. He 
had knocked the lock loose and had leaped in to where 
Aileen, kneeling over Rita on the floor, was choking and 
beating her into insensibility. Like an animal he was upon 

"Aileen," he shouted, fiercely, in a hoarse, ugly, gut- 
tural voice, "you fool! You idiot let go! What the 
devil's the matter with vou? What are you trying to do? 
Have you lost your mind? you crazy idiot!" 

He seized her strong hands and ripped them apart. He 
fairly dragged her back, half twisting and half throwing 
her over his knee, loosing her clutching hold. She was so 
insanely fun she still smi^led and cried, saving: 

"Let me at her! Let me at her! I'll teach her! Don 1 
you try to hold me, you dog! I'll show you, too, you 
brute oh" 



up woman," called Cowpcrwood, firmly, to 
Sohlberg and the butler. \sho had entered. "Get her out of 
here quick ! My wife has gone crazy. Get her out of here, 
I tell you! This woman doesn't know what sru 
Take her out and get a doctor. What sort of a hell's n 
nyway ?" 

"Oh," moaned Rita, who was torn and fainting, almost 
unconscious from sheer terror. 

' III kill hr screamed Aileen. "I'll murder her! I'll 
murder you too, you dog! Oh" she began striking at 
him " I'll teach you how to run around with other women, 
you dog, you brute!" 

Cowpcrwood merely gripped her hands and shook her 
vigorously, forceful 1\ . 

What the devil has got into you, anyway, you fool?" 
he said to her, bitterly, as they carried Rita out. "What 
are you trying to dp, anyway murder her? Do you want 
the police to come in here? Stop your screaming and be- 
have yourself, or I'll shove a handkerchief in your mouth! 
Stop,! tell you! Stop! Do you hear me? This is enough, 
you fool!" He clapped his hand over her mouth, pressing 
it tight and forcing ner back against him. He shook her 
hrutallv. angrily. He was very strong. "Now will you 
isted, "or do you want me to choke you quiet? 
I will, if you don't. You're out of your mind. Stop, I till 
you! So this is the way you carry on when things d 
go to suit you?" She was sobbing, struggling, moaning, 
naif screaming, quite beside herself. 

'i, you crazy fool!" he said, swinging ru r round, and 
with an effort getting out a handkerchn f, which he forced 
over her face and in her mouth. "There," he said, relieved- 
i >w will you shut up?" Holding her tight in an iron 
grip, he let her struggle and turn, quite ready to put an end 
to her breathing if necessary. 

Now that he had conquered her, he continued to he. Id 
her tightly, stooping beside her on one knee, listening 
and meditating. Hers was surely a terrible passion. From 
some points of view he could not blame her. Great was 
her provocation, great her love. He knew her disposition 
well enough to have anticipated something of this 
Yet the wretchedness, shame, scandal of the urnble affair 



upset his customary equilibrium. To think any one should 
give way to such a storm as this! To think that Aileen 
1 To think that Rita should have been so 
mistreated! It was not at all unlikely that she was 
ously injured, marred for life possibly even killed. The 
horror of that! The ensuing storm of public rage! A trial! 
His whole career gone up in one terrific explosion of woe, 
anger, death! Great God! 

He called the butler to him by a nod of his head, when 

the latter, who had gone out with Rita, hurried back. 

"How is she?" he asked, desperately. "Seriously hurt F 

"No, sir; I think not. I believe she's just fainted. She'll 

be all right in a little while, sir. Can I be of any service, 

Ordinarily Cowperwood would have smiled at such a 
scene. Now he was cold, sober. 

"Not now," he replied, with a sigh of relief, still holding 
Aileen firmlv. "(Jo out and close the door. Call a doc- 
tor. Wait in the hall. When he comes, call me." 

Aileen, conscious of things being done for Rita, of sym- 
extended to fur, tried to get up, to scream 
again; but she couldn't; her lord and master held her in 
an ugly hold. When the door was closed he said again: 
"Now, Aileen, will you hush? Will you let me get up and 
talk to you, or must we stay here all night? Do you want 
me to drop vou forever after to-nightr I understand all 
about this, but I am in control now, and I am going to 
stay so. Ymi will come to your senses and be reasonable. 
or I will leave you to-morrow as sure as I am here." His 
voice rang convincingly". "Now, shall we talk sensibly. 
or will you go on making a fool of yourself disgracing 
me, disgrai-ini; rhe house, making yourself and myself the 

hing-stoci of the servants, the neighborhood, tin 
This is a fine shov. mi: you've made to-day. Good God! 
A tine showing, indeed! A brawl in this house, a fight' I 
thought you nad better sense more self-respect really I 
did. You have seriously jeopardized my chances here in 
ago. You have seriously injured and possibly killed 
a woman. You could even be hanged for that. Do you 
hear me 

"Oh, let them hang me," groaned Aileen. " I want to die." 


He took away his hand from her mouth, loosened his grip 
upon her arms, and let her get to her feet. She wa 

ntial, impetuous, ready to upbraid him, but < >nce stand- 
ing she was confronted by him, cold, commanding, fixing 
her with a fishy eye. He wore a look now she had never 
seen on his face before a hard, wintry, dynamic flare, whk h 
no one but his commercial enemies, and only those occa- 
sionally, had set n 

" Now stop !" he exclaimed. " Not one more word 1 Not 
one! Do you hear n 

She wavered, ouailed, gave way. All the fury of her 
tempestuous soul tell, as the sea falls under a laps* 
She had had it in heart, on her lips, to cry again, "You dog! 
you brute!" and a hundred other terrible, useless things, 
but somehow, under the pressure of his gaze, the har 
of his heart, the words on her lips died away. She looked 
at him uncertainly for a moment, then, turning, she threw 
herself on the bed near by, clutched her cheeks and mouth 
and eyes, and, rocking back and forth in an agony of woe, 
she began to sob: 

h, my God! my God! My heart! My life! I 
to die! 1 want to die!" 

Standing there watching her, there suddenly came to 
Cowperwood a keen sense of her soul hurt, her heart hurt, 
and he was moved. 

leak" he said, after a moment or two, coming over 
and touching her quite p< \ileen! Don't cry 

havu Your life isn't utterly ruined. I > 

cry. This is bad business, but perhaps it is not without 
remedy. Come now, pull yourself together, Aileen!" 

For answer she merely rocked and moaned, uncontrolled 
and uncontrollable. 

Being anxious about conditions elsewhere, he turned and 
stepped out into the haJl. He must make some show for the 
benefit of the doctor and the servants; he must look after 
Rita, and offer some sort of passing explanation to Sohlberg. 




"Hrrr," he called to a passing servant, ''shut that door 
and watch it. If Mrs. Cowperwood comes out call me 


RITA was not dead by any means only serioi 
bruised, scratched, and choked. Her scalp was cut 
ic place. Aileen had repeatedly beaten her head on 
the floor, and this might have resulted seriously if Cowper- 
wood had not entered as quickly as he had. Sohlberg for 
the moment for some little time, in fact was under the 
impression that Aileen had truly l<-st lu-r mind, had sud- 
denly gone crazy, and that those shameless charges he had 
heard her making were the emanations of a disordered 
brain. Nevertheless the things she had said haunted him. 
He was in a bad state himself almost a subject for the doc- 
tor. His lips \MTI- bluish. Ins i heeks blanched. Rita had been 
carried mr<> an adjoining bedroom and laid upon a bed; 
cold water, ointments, a bottle of arnica had been procured; 
and when Cowperwood appeared she was conscious and 
somewhat better. But she was still very weak and smart- 
ing from her wounds, both mental and physical. When 
rlu doctor arrived he had been told that a lady, a giusr, 
had fallen down-stairs; when Cowperwood came in the 
physi i.m was dressing her wounds. 

As soon as he had gone Cowperwood said to thr maid in 
lance. "Go get me some hot water." As the latter 
disappeared he bent over and kissed Rita's bruised lips, put- 
ting hi> finger to his own m warning - 

M," he asked, softly, "are you fully conscious?" 
She nodded weakly. 

ten, then." he said, bending over and speaking slowly. 
<-n carefully. Pay strict attention to what I'm say- 
ing. You must understand every word, and do as I tell 
You are not seriously injured. You will be all 
n^ht. This will blow over. I h.ue sent for another doc- 



tor to call on you at your studio. Your husband has gone 
for some fresh clothes. He will come back in a little while. 
My carriage will take you home when you are a little 
stronger. You mustn't worry. Everything will be all 
right, but you must deny everything, do you near? Every- 
thing! In so far as you know, Mrs. Cowperwood is insane. 
I will talk to your husband to-morrow. I will send you 
a trained nurse. Meantime you must be careful of what 
you say and how you say it. Be perfectly calm. Don't 
worry. You are perfectly safe here, and you will be there. 
Mrs. Cowperwood will not trouble you any more. I will 
see to that. I am so sorry; but I love you. I am near 
you all the while. You must not let this make any differ- 
ence. You will not see her any more." 

Still he knew that it would make a difference. 

Reassured as to Rita's condition, he went back to 
AiUtn's room to plead with her again to soothe her if he 
could. He found her up and dressing, a new thought 
and determination in her mind. Since she had tin 
herself on the bed sobbing and groaning, her mood had 
gradually changed; she began to reason that if she could 
not dominate him, could not make him properly sorry, 
she had better leave. It was evident, she thought, that 
he did not love her any more, seeing that his anxiety 
to protect Rita had been so great; his brutality in re- 
straining her so marked; and yet she did not want to 
believe that this was so. He had been so wonderful 
to her in times past. She had not given up all hope 
of winning a victory over him, and these other women 
she loved him too much but only a separation would 
do it. That might bring him to his senses. She would 
get up, dress, and go down-town to a hotel. He should 
not see her any more unless he followed her. She was satis- 
fied that she had broken up the liaison with Rita Sohl! 
anyway for the present, and as for Antoinette Nowak, she 
would attend to her later. Her brain and her heart 
ached. She was so full of woe and rage, alternating, that 
she could not cry any more now. She stood before her 
mirror trying with trembling fingers to do over her toilet 
and adjust a street-costume. Cowperwood was disturbed, 
nonplussed at this unexpected sight. 



"Aileen," he said, finally, coming up behind her, "can't 
you and I talk this thing over peacefully now? You don't 
want to do anything that you'll be sorry for. I don't want 
you to. I'm sorry. You don't really believe that I've 
ceased to love you, do you? I haven't, you know. This 
thing isn't as bad as it looks. I should think you would 
have a little more sympathy with me after all we have 
been through together. You haven't any real evidence 
of wrong-doing on which to base any such outburst as 

"Oh, haven't I?" she exclaimed, turning from the mirror, 
where, sorrowfully and bitterly, she was smoothing her red- 
gold hair. Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes red. Just 
now she seemed as remarkable to him as she had seemed 
that first day, years ago, when in a red cape he had seen 
her, a girl of sixteen, running up the steps of her father's 
house in Philadelphia. She was so wonderful then. It 
mellowed his mood toward her. 

"That's all you know about it, you liar!" she declared. 
"It's little you know what I know. I haven't had detec- 
tives on your trail for weeks for nothing. You sneak! 
You'd like to smooth around now and find out what I know. 
Well, I know enough, let me tell you that. You won't fool 
me any longer with your Rita Sohlbergs and your Antoinette 
Nowaks and your apartments and your houses of assigna- 
tion. I know what you are, you brute! And after all your 
protestations of love for me! Ugh!" 

She turned fiercely to her task while Cowperwood stared 
at her, touched by her passion, moved by her force. It was 
fine to see what a dramatic animal she was really worthy 
of him in many ways. 

"Aileen," he said, softly, hoping still to ingratiate himself 
by degrees, "please don't be so bitter toward me. Haven't 
you any understanding of how life works any sympathy 
with it? I thought you were more generous, more tender. 
I'm not so bad." 

He eyed her thoughtfully, tenderly, hoping to move her 
through her love for him. 

"Sympathy! Sympathy!" She turned on him blazing. 
"A lot you know about sympathy! I suppose I didn't give 
you any sympathy when you were in the penitentiary in 



i dul I? A lot of good it did me didn't ir 3 
Sympathy! Bah! To have you come out here to Chicago 
and take up with a lot of prostitutes cheap stenograi 
and wives of! You have given me a lot of 
sympathy, haven't you? with that woman lying in the 
next room to prove 

She smoothed her lithe waist and shook her shoulders 
preparatory to putting on a hat and adjust inn her wrap. 
She proposed to go just as she was, and send Fadette back 
for all her belongings. 

"Aileen," he pleaded, determined to have his way, "I 
think you're very foolish. Really I do. There is no occa- 
sion for all this none in the world. Here you art t.ilkin- 
.it the f<>p of your voice, scandalizing the whole neighbor- 
hood, fibrin:'. le.iMMi; the house. It's abominable. I 
want you to do it. You love me yet, don't you? 
You know you do. I know you don't mean all you say. 
You can't. You really don't believe that I have ceased to 
love you, do you, Aileen ?" 

"Love!" fired Aileen. "A lot you know about love! A 
lot you have ever loved anybody, you brute! I know 
how you love. I thought you loved me once. Humph! 
I see how you loved me just as you've loved fifty other 
women, as you love snippy little Rita So hi berg in the 
next room the cat! the dirty little beast! the way you 
love Antoinette Nowak a cheap stenographer! Bah! You 
don't know \\ the word means." And yet her voice 
trailed off into a kind of sob and her eyes filled with tears, 
angry, aching. Cowpcrwood saw them and came 
over, hoping in some way to take advantage of them. He 
was truly sorry now anxious to make her feel tender tow- 
ard him once more. 

"Aileen," he pleaded, "please don't be so bitter. You 
shouldn't be so nard on me. I'm not so bad. Aren't you 
be reasonable?" He put out a smoothing hand, 
1-iif she jumped away. 

"Don t you touch me, you brute t" she exclaimed, 
angrily. "Don't you lay a hand on me. I don't want 
you to come near me. I'll not live with you. I'll not 
in the same house with you and your mistresses. Go and 
live with your dear, darling Rita on the North Side if you 


want to. I ( ! re, I suppose you've been in the next 

room comfor -the beast! fwish I had killed her 

( )h, (Joel!" She tore at her throat in a violent rage, trying 
to adjust a button. 

Cowperwood was literally astonished. Never had he 
seen such an outburst as this. He had not believed AiKm 
e capable of it. He could not help admiring her. 
Nevertheless he resented the brutality of her assault on 
Rira and on his own promiscuous tendency, and this feeling 
vented its( It in one last unfortunate remark. 

"I wouldn't be so hard on mistresses if I were you, 
Aileen," he ventured, pleadingly. "I should have thought 
your own experience would have 

He paused, for he saw on the instant that he was making a 
grave mistake. This reference to her past as a mistress was 
tnuial. On the instant she straightened up, and her eyes 
filled with a great pain. "So\ rhe way you talk 
to m " she asked. "I knew it! I knew it! I knew 

it would come!" 

She turned to a tall chest of drawers as high as her 
breasts, laden with silverware, jewel-boxes, brushes and 
combs, and, putting her arms down, she laid her head 
upon them and began to cry. This was the last straw. He 
was throwing up her lawless girlhood love to her as an 

"Oh!" she sobbed, and shook in a hopeless, wretched 

Cowperwood came over quickly. He was distressed, 
pained. "I didn't mean that, Aileen," he explained. "I 
didn't mean it in that way not at all. You rather drew 
that out of me; but I didn't mean it as a reproach. You 
were my mistress, but good Lord, I never loved you any 
the less for that rather more. You know I did. I want 
you to believe that; it's true. These other matters haven't 
been so important to me they really haven't " 

He looked at her helplessly as she moved away to avoid 
him; he was distressed, nonplussed, immensely sorry. As 
he walked to the center of the room again she suddenly 
suffered a great revulsion of feeling, but only in the direc- 
tion of more wrath. This was too much. 

"So this is the way you talk to me," she exclaimed, 



"after all I have done for you! You say that to me after I 
waited for you and cried over you when you were in prison 
for nearly two years? Your mistress! That's my reward, 
is it? Oh!" 

Suddenly she observed her jewel-case, and, resenting all 
the gifts he had given her in Philadelphia, in Paris, in 
Rome, here in Chicago, she suddenly threw open the lid 
and, grabbing the contents by handfuls, began to toss them 
toward him to actually throw them in his face. Out they 
came, handfuls of gauds that he had given her in real af- 
fection: a jade necklace and bracelet of pale apple-prim 
set in spun gold, with clasps of white ivory; a necklace of 
pearls, assorted as to size and matched in color, that shone 
with a tinted, pearly flame in the evening light; a handful 
of rings and brooches, diamonds, rubies, opals, amethysts; 
a dog-collar of emeralds, and a diamond hair-ornament. 
She nung them at him excitedly, strewing the floor, striking 
him on the neck, the face, the hands. "Take that! and 
that! and that! There they are! I don't want anything 
more of yours. I don't want anything more to do with 
you. I don't want anything that belongs to you. Thank 
God, I have money enough of my own to live on! I hate 
you I despise you I never want to see you any more. 
Oh " And, trying to think of something more, but failing, 
she dashed swiftly down the hall and down the stairs, while 
he stood for just one moment overwhelmed. Then he 
hurried after. 

"Aileen!" he called. "Aileen, come back here! Don't 
go, Aileen!" But she only hurried faster; she opened and 
closed the door, and actually ran put in the dark, her eyes 
wet, her heart bursting. So this was the end of that 
youthful dream that had begun so beautifully. She 
no better than the others just one of his mistresses. To 
have her past thrown up to her as a defense for the others! 
To be told that she was no better than they! This was 
the last straw. She choked and sobbed as she walked, 
vowing never to return, never to see him any more. But 
as she did so Cowperwood came running after, deter- 
mined for once, as lawless as he was, that this should not 
be the end of it all. She had loved him, he reflected. She 
had laid every gift of passion and affection on the altar of 


her love. It wasn't fair, really. She must be made to 
stay. He caught up at last, reaching her under the dark 
of the November trees. 

"Aileen," he said, laying hold of her and putting his 
arms around her waist. 'Aileen, dearest, this is plain 
madness. It is insanity. You're not in your right mind. 
Don't go! Don't leave me! I love you! Don't you know 
I do? Can't you really see that? Don't run away like 
this, and don't cry. I do love you, and you know it. I 
always shall. Come back now. Kiss me. I'll do better. 
Really I will. Give me another chance. Wait and see. 
Come now won't you? That's my girl, my Aileen. Do 
come. Please!" 

She pulled on, but he held her, smoothing her arms, her 
neck, her face. 

" Aileen!" he entreated. 

She tugged so that he was finally compelled to work 
her about into his arms; then, sobbing, she stood there 
agonized but happy once more, in a way. 

"But I don't want to," she protested. " You don't love 
me any more. Let me go." 

But he kept hold of her, urging, and finally she said, her 
head upon his shoulder as of old, "Don't make me come 
back to-night. I don't want to. I can't. Let me go 
down-town. I'll come back later, maybe." 

"Then I'll go with you," he said, endearingly. "It 
isn't right. There are a lot of things I should be doing to 
stop this scandal, but I'll go." 

And together they sought a street-car. 


I a sad commentary on all save the most chemic unions 
those dark red flowers of romance that bloom most often 
only for a tragic end that they cannot endure the storr 
disaster that are wont to overtake them. A woman like 
Sohlbcrg, with a seemingly urgent feeling for Cowper- 
wood, was yet not so charmed by him hut this sh<u k 
to her pride was a marked sedative. The crushing * < 
of such an exposure as this, the Homeric laughn r mh< 

t indicated in the faultv planning, the failure to take 
into account beforehand all the possibilities which might 
lead to such a disaster, was too much for her to endure. 
She was stung almost to desperation, maddened, at the 

had walked into 

thought ,f the g.iv, idle way in which she had 
Mrs. Cowperwoop's clutches and been made nto a spec- 
tacle and a laughing-stock by her. What a brute she was 
wh.t a demon 1 Hi r own physical weakness under the 
instances was no grief to her rather a salve to her 
superior disposition; but just the same she had been 
kidly hcatm, her beauty turned into a raRamuti 
.mil was enough. This evening, in the Lake Shore 
i riti in. where she had been taken, she had but one 
thought to get away when it should all be over and 
her wearied brain. She did not want to see Sohlberg any 
more; she did not want to see Cowperwood any more. 
Already Harold, suspicious and determined to get at the 
truth, was beginning to question her as to the strangeness 
of Aileen's attack her probable reason. When Cowper- 
wood was announced, Sohlberg's manner modified some- 
what, for whatever his suspicions were, he was not pre- 
pared to quarrel with this singular man as yet. 

ry about this unfortunate business," said Cow- 


pcrwood, coming in with brisk assurance. "I never knew 
my wife to become so strangely unbalanced before. It was 
most fortunate that I arrived when I did. I certainly our 
you both every amend that can be made. I sincerely hope, 
Mrs. SohlbcTR. that you are not seriously injured. If then- 
is anything I o:m possibly do anything either of you can 
st" he looked around solicit.. usl\ at Sohll "I 

^h.ill only be too glad to do it. How would it do for you 
ike Mrs. Sohlberg away for a little while for a rest? 
I shall so gladly pay all expenses in connection with her 

Sohlberg, brooding and heavy, remained unrespon 
smoldering; Rir.i. cheered by Cowperwood's presence, but 
nor wholly relieved by any means, was questioning and 
disturbed. She was afraid there was to be a terrific so m- 
cen them. She declared she was better and would be 
all right that she did not need to go away, but that she 
preferred to be alone. 

"It's very strange," said Sohlberg, sullenly, after a little 
whilr. " 1 daunt onderstand it! I daunt onderstand it at 
all. Why should she do soach a thing? Why should she 
say soach things? Here we have been the best of fn 
opp to now. Then suddenly she attacks my wife ami 
all these strange things." 

" But I have assured you, my dear Mr. Sohlberg, that my 
wife was not in her right mind. She has been subject to 
spells of this kind in the past, though never to anything so 
\ i< .lent as this to-night. Already she has recovered her nor- 
mal state, and she does not remember. But, perhaps, it we 
are going to discuss things now we had better go out in 
tfu hall. Your wife will need all the rest she can get." 

Once outside, Cowperwood continued with brilliant as' 
icr: "Now, m\ dear Sihlberg, what is it I ran say? 
t you wish me to do? My wife has made a lot of 
groundless charges, to say nothing of injuring your wife 
most seriously and shamcfull\. I cannot tell you, as I 
have said, how sorry I am. I assure you Mrs. Cowper- 
wood is suffering from a gross illusion. There is absolutely 
nothing to do, nothing to say, so far as I can see, but to 
let the whole matter drop. Don't you agree with me?" 

Harold was twisting mentally in the coils of a trying 
6 161 


si runt ion. His own position, as he knew, was not for- 
midable. Rita had reproached him over and over for in- 
fidelity. He began to swell and bluster at once. 

"Tnat is all very well for you to say, Mr. Cowperwood," 
he commented, defiantlv, "but how about me? Where do 
I come in? I daunt know what to theenk yet. It ees very 
strange. Supposing what your wife sais was true? Sup- 
posing my wife has been going around weeth somr one? 
That ees what I want to find out. Eef she has! E< 
is what I theenk it ees I shall I shall I daunt know what 
I shall do. I am a very violent man." 

Cowperwood almost smiled, concerned as he was over 
img publicity; he had no fear of Sohlberg physically. 

"See here," he exclaimed, suddenly, looking sharply at 
the musician and dt > take the bull bv the horns, 

"you are in finite as delicate a situation as I am, if you 
onlv stop to think. This affair, if it gets out, will involve 
not only me and Mrs. Cowperwood, but yourself and your 
wife, and if I am not mistaken, I think your own affairs 
are not in any too good shape. You cannot blacken your 
wife without blackening yourself that is inevitable. 
None of us is exactly perfect. For myself I shall be 
pelled to prove insanity, and I can do this easily. If there 
is anything in your past which is not precisely what it should 
be it could not long be kept a secret. If you are willing to 
let the matter drop I will make handsome provision 

both; if, instead, you choose to make trouble, to 
force this matter into the daylight, I shall leave no stone 
unturned to protect myself, to put as good a face on this 
matter as I can." 

"What!" exclaimed Sohlberg. "You threaten me? 

You try to frighten me after your wife charges that you 

have been running around weeth mv wife? You talk about 

my past! I like that. Haw! We shall see about dis! What 

you knaw about me?' 

"Well, Mr. Sohlberg," rejoined Cowperwood, calmly, 
"I k' mst.mcr, that for a long while your wife 

n<>r loved you, that you have been living on her as any n< n- 
sioner micht. that you have been running around with as 
many as six or seven women in as many years or less, 
months I have been acting as your wife's financial adviser, 



and in that time, with the aid of detective s, I h:ive learned 
of Anna Stelmak, Jessie Laska, Bertha Reese, Ge< 
Du Coin do I need to say any more? As a matter of 
I have a numher of your letters in my possession." 

"Saw that ees it!" exclaimed Sohlberg, while Cowper- 
wood eyed him fixedly. "You have been running around 
weeth my wife? Eet ees true, then. A fine situ 
And you come here now weeth these threats, these lies to 
booldoze me. Haw! We weel see about them. We weel 
see what 1 can do. Wait teel I can consult a lawyer first. 
Then we weel see!" 

Cowperwood surveyed him coldly, angrily. "\\ an 
ass!" he thought. 

ee here,' he said, urging Sohlberg, for privacy's sake, 
to come down into the lower hall, and then into the street 
re the sanitarium, where two gas-lamps were fluttering 
fitfully in the dark and wind, "1 sec very plainly that 
are bent on making trouble. It is not enough that I have 
assured you that there is nothing in this I have given 
you my word. You insist on going further. Very well, 
then. Supposing for argument's sake that Mrs. Cowper- 
wood was not insane; that every word she said was true; I had been misconducting myself with your wife? 
What of it? What will you do?' 

He looked at Sohlberg smoothly, ironically, while the 
latter flared up. 

"Haw!" he shouted, melodramatically. "Why, I would 
keel you, that's what I would do. I would keel h< 
weel make a terrible scene. Just let me knaw that this is 
so, and then see!" 

"Exactly," replied Cowperwood, grimly. "I thought 
so. I believe you. For that reason I have come prep 
to serve you in just the way you wish." He reached in 
his coat and took out two small revolvers, which he had taken 
from a drawer at home for this very purpose. They gleamed 
in the dark. "Do you see these?* he continued. "I am 
going to save you the trouble of further investigation, Mr. 
Sohlberg. Every word that Mrs. Cowperwood said to- 
night and I am saying this with a full understand^ 
' this means to you and to me is true. She is no more 
ie than I am. Your wife has been living in an apart- 


ment with me on the North Side for months, though you 
cannot prove She does not love you, but me. Now 
to kill me here is a gun." He extended his 
hand. "Take your choice. If I am to die you might as 
well die with me." 

He said it so coolly, so firmly, that Sohlberg, who was an 
innate coward, and who had no more desire to die than any 
othc r hc.ilthy animal, paled. The look of cold steel 
too much that pressed them on him was hard 

fan He took hold of one, but his fingers trembled. 
The steely, metallic voice in his ear was undermining the 
lit fir courage that he had. Cowperwood by now had t 
on rhc proportions of a dangerous man the lineaments of 
a demon. He turned away mortally terrified. 

"My God!" he exclaimed, shaking like a leaf. "You 
want to keel me, do you? I weel not have am -him; to do 
fool !< k to you ! I weel see my lawyer. 

I weel talk to my wife first." 

no you w I Cowperwood, intercepting 

him as he turned to go and seizing him firmly bv the arm. 
"I am not going to have you do anything of the sor 

: to kill you if you are not . kill me; 

but 1 -ii to make you listen to reason for once. Now 

here is what else I have to say, and then I am through. I 
am not unfriendly to you. I want to do you a good turn, 
little as I care for you. To begin with, there is nothing in 
those charges my wife made, not a thing. I merely said 
st now to see if you were in earnest. You do 
not love your wife any more. She doesn't love you. You 
.tu no good to her. Now, I have a very friendly proposi- 
tion to make to you. If you want to leave Chicago and 
stay away three years or more, I will see that you are paid 
five thousand dollars every year on January first on the 
nail five thousand dollars! Do you hear? Or you can 
stay here in Chicago and hold your tongue and I will make 
it three thousand monthly or yearly, just as you please. 
Hut and this is what I want you to remember if you 
get out of town or hold your tongue, if you make one 
single rash move against me, I will kill you, and I -A ill kill 
vou on sicht. Now, I want you to go away from here and 
behave yourself. Leave your wife alone. Come and tee 


me in a day or two the money is ready for you any 


He paused while Sohlberg stared his eyes round and 

. I his was the most astonishing experience of his 

life. This man was either devil or prince, or Urh 'Good 

", too. He will really 

kill me." I hm the astounding alternative five thousand 

dollars a year came to his mind. Well, why not? His 

silence gave consent. 

ere you I wouldn't go up-stairs again to-niphr," 
-inucd Cowperwood, sternly. "Don't disturb h< r 
She needs rest. Go on down-town and come and see me 
to-morrow or if you want to go back I will go with you. 
I want to say to Mrs. Sohlberg what I have said to you. 
But remember what I've told \ 

"Nau, thank you/' replied Sohlberg, fceblv. "I will go 
down-town. Good night." And he hurried away. 

Im sorry," said Cowperwood to himself, defensively. 
"It is too bad, but it was the only way." 



THE Question of Sohlberg adjusted thus simply, if 
brutally, Cowperwood turned his attention to Mrs. 
Sohlberg. But there was nothing much to be done. 
He explained that he had now completely subdued 
Aileen and Sohlberg, that the latter would make no 
more trouble, he was going to pension him, 
Ailccn would remain permanently quiescent. He ex- 
pressed the greatest solicitude for her, but Rita was 
sickened of this tangle. She had loved him, as she thought, 
but through the rage of Aileen she saw him in a different 

. and she wanted to get away. His money, plentiful 
as it was, did not mean as much to her as it might have 
meant to some women; it simply spelled luxuries, without 

h she could exist if she must. His charm for her had, 
perhaps, consisted mostly in the atmosphere of flawless 
security, which seemed to surround him a glittering 
bubble of romance. That, by one fell attack, was 
burst. He was seen to be quite as other men, subjt 
the same storms, the same danger of shipwreck. Only he 
was a better sailor than most. She recuperated gradually; 
left for home; left for Europe; details too long to be nar- 
rated. Sohlberg, after much meditating and fuming, 
finally accepted the offer of Cowperwood and returned to 
Denmark. Aileen, after a few days of quarreling, in \vlm h 
he agreed to dispense with Antoinette Nowak, returned 

Cowperwood was in no wise pleased by this rough de- 
nouement. Aileen had not raised her own attractions in 
his estimation, at strange to relate, he was not un- 

sympathetic with her. He had no desire to desert her as 
yet, though for some time he had been growing in the fecl- 



ing that Rita would have been a much better type of wife 
:m. Hut what he could not have, he could not have. 

He turned his attention with renewed force to his business; 

hut it was with many a backward glance at those radiant 

hours when, with Rita in his presence or enfolded b 

. he had seen life from a new and poetic angle. She 

was so charming, so naive but what could he do? 

For several years thereafter Cowperwood was busy fol- 
lowing the Chicago street-railway situation with increasing 
interest. He knew it was useless to brood over Rita Sohl- 
berg she would not return and yet he could not help it; 
but he could work hard, and that was something. His 
natural aptitude and affection for street-railway wrk h.ui 
long since been demonstrated, and it was now making him 
restless. One might have said of him quite truly that the 
tinkle of car-bells and the plop of plodding horses' fecr 
in his blood. He surveyed these extending lines, with tluir 
jingling cars, as he went about the city, with an almost 

ry eye. Chicago was growing fast, and these little 
horse-cars on certain streets were crowded night and morn- 
ing fairly bulging with people at the rush-hours. If he 
could only secure an octopus-crip on one or all of them; 
if he could combine and control them all I What a fortune! 
Thar mg else, might salve him for some of his woes 

a tremendous fortune nothing less. He forever busied 
himself with various aspects of the scene quite as a poet 
might have concerned himself with rocks and rills. To own 
these street-railway si To own these street-railways! So 
rang the song of his mind. 

1 ike the gas situation, the Chicago street-railway situa- 
tion \\.is divided into three parts three companies repre- 

ng and corresponding with the three different sides 
or divisions of the citjr. The Chicago City Railway Com- 
pany, occupying the South Side and extending as far south 
as Thirty -ninth Street, had been organized in 1859, and 
represented in itself a mine of wealth. Alread 
trolled some seventy miles of track, and was annu.dlv 
being added to on Indiana Avenue, on Wabash Avenue, on 
State Street, and on Archer Avenue. It owned over one 
hundred and fifty cars of the old-fashioned, straw-ttiewn, 



no-stove type, and over one thousand horses; it employed 
one hundred and seventy conductors, one hundred 

drivers, a hundred stablemen, and blacksmiths, har- 
ness-makers, and repairers in interesting numbers. Its 
snow-plows were busy on the street in winter, its snrink- 
1 ing-cars in summer. Cowpcrwood calculated its snares, 
bonds, rolling-stock, and other physical properties as t 

ruty of over two million dollars. The tmuhle. 
with rliis impany was that its outstanding stock was prin- 
up.illv controlled by Norman Schryhart, who was 
decidedly inimical to Cowperwood, or anything he might 

to do, and by Anson Merrill, who had ne\< i 
Tested any signs of friendship. He did not see h.w he 
was to g< ! >f r his property. Its shares were selling 

around two hundred and fifty dollars. 

1 h- North Chicago City Railway was i corporation 
"huh had been organized at the same time as the South 

company, hut by a different group of men. Irs 
management was old, indifferent, and incompt 
< .jinpm< m about the same. The Chicago West Division 
k .ul way had originally been owned by the Chicago Cr 
South Side Railway, but was now a separate corpora 
It was not yet so profitable as the other divisions of the 
MM-, but all sections of the city were growing. The bone- 
bell was heard everywhere tinkling gaily. 

Standing on the outside of this scene, contemplating its 
promise, Cowperwood much more than any one else con- 
nected financially with the future of these railways at rhis 
time was impressed with their enormous possibilities- 
future if Chicago continued to prow, and was 
concerned with the various factors which might further or 
impede their progress. 

Not long before he had discovered that one of the chief 
handicaps to street-railway development. <. n the- North and 
West Sides, lav in the congestion of traffic at the bridges 
snanning the Chicago Riv< r. Between the street ends that 
antitteil on it and connected the two sides of the city ran 
this amazing stream dirty, odorous, picturesque, com- 
pact of a heavy, delightful, constantly crowding and i 
ins hoat traffi kept the various bridges mommtarily 

turning, and tied up the street traffic on either side of the 


river until it seemed at times as though the tangle of teams 
and boats would never any more be straightened out. It 
was lovely, human, natural, Dickensesque a fit subject 
for a Daumier, a Turner, or a Whistler. The idlest of 
bridge-tenders judged for himself when the boats and when 
the teams should be made to wait, and how lone, while in 
addition to the regular pedestrians a group of idlers stood 
at gaze fascinated by the crowd of masts, the crush of 
wagons, and the picturesque tugs in the foreground below. 
Cowperwood, as he sat in his light runabout, annoyed by a 
delay, or dashed swiftly forward to get over before a bridge 
turned, had long since noted that the street-car sri 
in the North and West Sides was badly hampered. The 
unbroken South Side, unthreaded by a river, had no such 
problem, and was growing rapidly. 

Because of this he was naturally interested to observe 
one day, in the course of his peregrinations, that there ex- 
isted in two places under the Chicago River in the first 
place at La Salic Street, running north and south, and in the 
second at Washington Street, running east and west two 
now soggy and rat-infested tunnels which were never used by 
anybody dark, dank, dripping affairs only vaguely lighted 
\sirh oil-lamn, and oozing with water. Upon investigation 
he learned that they had been built years before to accom- 
modate this same tide of wagon traffic, which now congested 
bridges, and which even then had been rapidly rising. 
Being forced to pay a toll in time to which a slight toll in 
cash, exacted for the privilege of using a tunnel, had 
seemed to the investors and public infinitely to be pre- 
ferred, this traffic had been offered this opportunity of 
avoiding the delay. However, like many another hand- 
some commercial scheme on paper or bubbling in the 
human brain, the plan did not work exactly. These tun- 
nels might have proved profitable if they had been proper- 
ly built with long, low-per-cent. grades, wide roadways, 
a sufficiency tnd air; but, as a matter of f.u t. tin v 

had not been -usly adapted to puMu convenience. 

Norman Schry hart's father had been an investor in these 
tunnels, and Anson Merrill. When they had proved un- 
profitable, after a long period of pointless manipulation 
cost, one million dollars they had been sold to the city for 



exactly that sum each, it being poetical! d that a 

gro*i could better aH lose to disturbing an 

.nr th.m .mv d its humble, ambitious, and rev 
able citizens. That was a little affair bv \Urnh mt : 
of council had profited years before; but that also is an 

After discovering these tunnels Cowperwood walked 
n several times for though they were now 
boarded up, there was still an uninterrupted footpath 
ami wiimle-rrd why they could not be utilized. It seemed 
m that if the street-car traffic were heavy enough, 
-able enough, and these tunnels, for a reasonable 
i be made into a lower grade, one of the problems v 
now hampered the growth of the North and West Sides 
would be obviated. But how? He did not own the tun- 
nels. He did not own the stieet-rairwavs. The cott of 
leasing and rebuilding the tunnels would be enormous. 
Helpers and horses : < diivers on anv grade, how- 

Jichr. would have to be used, and that meant ..n 
> expense \ street-car horses as the only means 

of traction, and with the long, expensive grades, he was 

so sure that this ventuie would be a profitable one. 
Howrvrr. in the f.JI of 1880, or a little earlier (when he 
was still vrrv much entangled with the preliminary sex 
affairs that led eventually to Rita Sohlberg), he became 
aware of a new system M n relating to street 

which, together with the arrival of the arc-light, the tele- 
phone, and other inventions, seemed destined to *"^*f^ 
the character of city life entu 

Recently in San Francisco, where the presence of hills 
made the movement of crowded street-railwav cars ex- 
ceedingly difficult, a new type of traction had Been intro- 
ducedthat of the cablf, which was nothing more than a 
traveling rope of wire running over guttered wheels in a 

and driven by immense engines, convent' 
located in adjacent stations or "power-houses." The 
cars carried a readily manipulated "grip-lever." or steel 
hand, which reached down through a slot into a conduit 
and "gripped" the moving cable. This invention s 
the problem of hauling heavily laden street-cars up and 
down steep grades. About the same time he also heard, 


in a roundabout way, that the Chicago City Railway, of 
uhuh Sv-hivh.irt and Merrill were t: ners, 

was about to introduce this mode of traction on its lines 
to cabU State Street, and attach the care of other lines 
running farther out into unprofitable districts as "trailers." 
At once the solution of the North and West Side problems 
flashed upon him cables. 

Outside of the bridge crush and the tunnels above men- 
tioned, there was one other special condition v. 
had been for some time past attracting Cowperwood's at- 
tention. This was the waning energy of the N<>r rh Chicago 
1 way Company the lack of foresight part 

of its directors which prevented them from pcn-uvmi; thr 
proper solution of their difficulties. The road was in .1 
rather unsatisfactory state financially really open to a 
of some sort In t he hrumnmK it had been considered 
rofitable, so thinly populated was the territory they 

served, and so short the distance from the business heart. 
Later, however, as the territory filled up, they did b< 
only thrn the I- s at the bridges occurred. 1 hr 

management, feeling that the lines were likely to be poorly 
down poor, little, I rails, 

and run slimpsy care which were as cold as ice in winu-r 
arui as hot as stove-ovens in summer. No attempt had 
been made to extend the down-town n r minus of the several 
lines into the business center they stopped just 

which bordered it at the north. (On the South Side 
Mr Schryhart had done much better for his patrons. He- 
had already installed a loop for his cable about Merrill's 
) As on the West Side, straw was strewn in the 
bottom of all the care in winter to keep the feet ot 
passengers warm, and but few open care were used in sum- 
The directors were averse to introducing them bc- 
I of the expense. So they had gone on ana on, adding 
lines only where they were sure thev would make a good 
n the start, putting down the same style of cheap 
hat had been used in the beginning, and empl<>\ n 
same antique type of car which rattled and trembled as it 
patrons were enraged to the 

se of various suits and complaints in- 
augurated, the company had been greatly annoyed, but 


they scarcely knew t. do, how to meet the on slant: In. 
Though there was here and there a man of sense su< 

:n>n, tin m-neral SUJH mm luU-nr . 1 
K.iHr.ith, a director; \\illi.ini Johnson, tin 

leei of the company vet such other men as Onias C. 
Skinner, the president, and Walter Parker, the vice-p 

. were reactionaries of an elderly character, conserva- 
tive, meditative, stingy, and, worst of all, fearful or without 
courage for great adventure. It is a sad commentary 
age almost invariably takes away the incentive to new 
and makes "Let well enough alone" the most 
appealing m< 

Mi mil ul of this, Cowperwood, with a now splendid scheme 
in his mind, one day invited John J. McKcnty over to his 
house to dinner on a social pretext. When the latter, ac- 
companied bv his wife, had arrived, and Aileen had smiled 
on them both sweetly, and was doing her best to be nice 
to Mrs. McKcnty, Cowperwood remarked: 

"McKcnty, do you know anything about these two 
tunnels that the citv owns under the nvcr at Washington 
and La Salle streets r" 

"I know that the city took them over when it didn't 
need them, and that they're no good for anything. That 
was before my time, though," explained McKenty, cau- 
tiously. "I think the city paid a million for them. 

"Oh, nothing much," replied Cowperwood, evading the 
matter for the present. "I was wondering whether they 
were in such condition that they couldn't be used for 
thing. I see occasional references in the papers to thnr 

"They're in oretty bad shape, I'm afraid," replied 
McKenty. "I haven't been through either of them in 
years and years. The idea was originally to let the wagons 
L" through them and break up the crowding at the bridges. 
Hut it didn't work. They made the grade too steep and 
the tolls too high, and so the drivers preferred to wait for 
the bridges. They were pretty hard on horses. I can 
testify to that myself. I've driven a wagon-load through 
them more than once. The city should never have taken 
them over at all by rights. It was a deal. I don't know 



who all was in it. Carmody was mayor then, and Al- 
drich was in charge of public works." 

He relapsed into siUmc, and Cowpcrwood allowed the 
mutter of the tunrnls t<> rest until after dinner whin thev 
had adjourned to the library. There he placed a friendly 
h.irul on McKenty's arm, an act of familiarity which the 
politician rather liked. 

"You felt pretty well satisfied with the way that gas 
business came out last year, didn't you?" he inquired. 

"1 dul," replied Mckcntv, warmly. "Never more so. 

1.1 you that at the time.' The Inshman liked Cowper- 

wood, and was grateful for the swift manner in which he 

had been made richer by the sum of several hundred 

thousand dollars. 

"Well, now, McKe: ntinued Cowperwood, abrupt- 

ly, and uith a seeming lack of connection, "has it ever 
occurred to you that things are shaping up for .1 I 
in the street-railway situation here? I can see it mining, 
e's going to be a new motor power introduced on the 
South Side within a year or two. You've heard of it?" 

" I read something of it," replied McKenty, surprised 
and a little questioning. He took a cigar and prepared to 
listen. Cowpcrwood, never smoking, drew up a chair. 

"Well, I'll tell you what that means," he explained. 
"It mrans that eventually every mile of street-railway 
track in this city to say nothing of all the additional 
miles will be built before this change takes place "ill 
have to be done over on an entirely new b.i I mean 
this r.iMe-conduit system. These old companies tha 
hobbling along now with an old equipment v-ill have to 
make the change. They'll have to spend millions and 
millions before they can KrinR their equipment up to date. 
If you've paid any attention to the matter you must have 
seen what a condition these North and West Side lines 

"It's pretty bad; I know that," commented McK 
"Just so," replied Cowperwood, emphatically. "Well, 
if I know anything about these old managen 

H| them, they're going to have a hard time 
bringing themselves to do this. Two to three million are 
; irec million, and it isn't going to be an easy matter 


f<>r rhcm to raise the money not as ea ips, as it 

would be for some of the rest of us, supposing we wanted to 
go into the street-railway business.' 

"Yes, supposing. <d McK !ly. "But 

bow are you to get in it? There's no stock for sale t! 
* of/' 

"fust rhe same," said Cowperwood, "we can if we 

;ui I'll show you how. But at present there's just one 
thing in particular I'd like you to do for me. I wai 

there is any way that we can get control of cith< r 
of those two old tunnels I talking to you about 
a little while ago. I'd like both if I might. Do you sup- 
pose that is possi 1 

"Why, yes," replied McKemv, wondering; "but what 
have they got to do with ir ; Tney're not worth anything. 
Some of the boys were talking about tilling them in some 
time ago blowing them up. The police think crooks hide 
in th 

"Just the same, don't let any one touch them don'r 
lease them or anything/' replied Cowperwood, forcefully. 
"I'll tell you frankly what I want to do. I want to get 

mst as soon as possible, of all the street -r.i 
lines I can on the North and West Sides new or old fran- 
chises. Then you'll sec where the tunnels come in." 

He paused to see whetli nty caught the point of 

all he iTu-ant, out the latter failed. 

"You don't much, do you?" he said, cheerfully. 
" But I don't see how you can use the tunnels. Ho* < 
that's no reason why I shouldn't take care of them for you, 
if you think that's important " 

s this way," said Cowpeiwood, thoughtfully. 'Til 
make you a preferred partner in all the ventures that I 
u do as I suggest. The street-railways, as 
stand now, will have to be taken up lex > 
barrel, and thrown into the scrap heap within eight or nine 
years at the latest. You see what the South Side 
pany is beginning to do now. When it comes to the West 
and North Side companies they won't find it so easy. I 
aren't earning as much as the South Side, and besides they 
have those bridges to cross. I hat means a severe u 
venience to a cable line. In the first place, the bridges will 



have to be rebuilt to stand the extra weight and str 
Now the question arises at once at whose expense? i he 

That depends on who's asking for it," replied Mr. 
Me Kenty, amiably. 

"Quite so," assented Cowperwood. "In the next place, 

this river traffic is becoming impossible from the point of 

of a decent street-car service. There are waits now of 

from eight to fifteen minutes while these cows and vessels 

get through. Chicago has five hundred thousand poj 

to-day. How much will it have in 1890? In 1900? 
How will it be when it has eight hundred thousand or a 

"You're quite right," interpolated McKenty. "It will 
be pretty bad." 

i xactly. But what is worse, the cable lines will carry 
trailers, or single cars, from feeder lines. There won't be 
single cars waiting at these draws there will be tr 

von't be advisable to delay a cable- 
rr.nn tV-m right to fifteen minutes while boats are making 
their way through a draw. The public won't stand for 
that very long, will it, do you think?' 

"Not without making a row, probably," replied McKenty. 
"Well, that means what, then?" asked Cowperwood. 
raffic going to get any lighter? Is the river going 
to dry i 

Mr. McKenty stared. Suddenly his face lighted. "Oh, 
I see," he said, shrewdly. s those tun mis you're 

thinking about. Are they in any shape to be used?" 
I hey can be made over cheaper than new ones can be 


"True for you," replied McKenty, "and if they're in any 
sort of repair they'd be just what you'd want." He was 
emphatic, almost triumph "They belong T flu 

Thev pretty near a million apiece, those things." 

" I know it," said Cowperwood. "Now, do you see what 
I'm driving 

"Do I see!" smiled McKenty. "That's a real idea you 
have, Cowperwood. I take oft my hat to you. Say what 
you want." 

"Well, then, in the first place," replied Cowperwood, 



genially, "it is agreed that the city won't part with those 
two tunnels under any circumstances until we can see 
what can be done about this other matter?" 

"It will not." 

"In the next place, it is understood, is it, that you won't 
make it any easier than you can possibly help for the North 
and West Side companies to get ordinances extending their 
lines, or anything else, from now on ? I shall want to intro- 
duce some franchises for feeders and outlying lines my- 

"Bring in your ordinances," replied McKenty, "and I'll 
do whatever you say. I've worked with you before. I 
know that you keep your word." 

"Thanks," said Cowperwood, warmly. "I know the 
value of keeping it. In the mean while I'll go ahead and 
see what can be done about the other matter. I don't 
know just how many men I will need to let in on this, or 
just what form the organization will take. But you may 
depend upon it that your interests will be properly taken 
care of, and that whatever is done will be done with your 
full knowledge and consent." 

"All very good," answered McKenty, thinking of the 
new field of activity before them. A combination between 
himself and Cowperwood in a matter like this must prove 
very beneficial to both. And he was satisfied, because of 
their previous relations, that his own interests would not 
be neglected. 

"Shall we go and see if we can find the ladies?" asked 
Cowperwood, jauntily, laying hold of the politician's arm. 

"To be sure," assented McKenty, gaily. "It's a fine 
house you have here beautiful. And your wife is as pretty 
a woman as I ever saw, if you'll pardon the familiarity." 

"I have always thought she was rather attractive my- 
self," replied Cowperwood, innocently. 



AMONG the directors of the North Chicago City com- 
pany there was one man, Edwin L. Kaffrath, who was 
young and of a forward-looking temperament. His father, 
a former heavy stockholder of this company, had recently 
died and left all his holdings and practically his director- 
ship to his only son. Young Kaffrath was by no means a 
practical street-railway man, though he fancied he could 
do very well at it if given a chance. He was the holder 
of nearly eight hundred of the five thousand shares of 
stock; but the rest of it was so divided that he could only 
exercise a minor influence. Nevertheless, from the day 
of his entrance into the company which was months be- 
fore Cowperwood began seriously to think over the situa- 
tion he had been strong for improvements extensions, 
more franchises, better cars, better horses, stoves in the 
cars in winter, and the like, all of which suggestions sounded 
to his fellow-directors like mere manifestations of the reck- 
less impetuosity of youth, and were almost uniformly 

"What's the matter with them cars?" asked Albert 
Thorsen, one of the elder directors, at one of the meetings 
at which Kaffrath was present and offering his usual pro- 
test. "I don't see anything the matter with 'em. I ride 
in 'em." 

Thorsen was a heavy, dusty, tobacco-bestrewn individual 
of sixty-six, who was a little dull but genial. He was in 
the paint business, and always wore a very light steel-gray 
suit much crinkled in the seat and arms. 

''Perhaps that's what's the matter with them, Albert," 
chirped up Solon Kaempfaert, one of his cronies on the 



The sally drew a laugh. 

"Oh, I don't know. I see the rest of you on board often 

"Why, I tell you what's the matter with them," replied 
KafFrath. "They're dirty, and they're flimsy, and the win- 
dows rattle so you can't hear yourself think. The track is 
no good, and the filthy straw we keep in them in winter is 
enough to make a person sick. We don't keep the track in 
good repair. I don't wonder people complain. I'd com- 
plain myself." 

"Oh, I don't think things are as bad as all that," put in 
Onias C. Skinner, the president, who had a face which with 
its very short side-whiskers was as bland as a Chinese god. 
He was sixty-eight years of age. "They're not the best 
cars in the world, but they're good cars. They need paint- 
ing and varnishing pretty badly, some of them, but out- 
side of that there's many a good year's wear in them yet. 
I'd be very glad if we could put in new rolling-stock, but 
the item of expense will be considerable. It's these ex- 
tensions that we have to keep building and the long hauls 
for five cents which eat up the profits." The so-called 
"long hauls" were only two or three miles at the outside, 
but they seemed long to Mr. Skinner. 

"Well, look at the South Side," persisted KafFrath. ? "I 
don't know what you people are thinking of. Here's a 
cable system introduced in Philadelphia. There's another 
in San Francisco. Some one has invented a car, as I under- 
stand it, that's going to run by electricity, and here we are 
running cars barns, I call them with straw in them. 
Good Lord, I should think it was about time that some of 
us took a tumble to ourselves!" 

"Oh, I don't know," commented Mr. Skinner. "It 
seems to me we have done pretty well by the North Side. 
We have done a good deal." 

Directors Solon Kaempfaert, Albeit Thorsen, Isaac 
White, Anthony Ewer, Arnold C. Benjamin, and Otto 
Matjes, being solemn gentlemen all, merely sat and stared. 

The vigorous KafFrath was not to be so easily repressed, 
however. He repeated his complaints on other occasions. 
The fact that there was also considerable complaint in the 
newspapers from time to time in regard to this same North 



Side service pleased him in a way. Perhaps this would 
be the proverbial fire under the terrapin which would 
cause it to move along. 

By this time, owing to Cowperwood's understanding 
with McKenty, all possibility of the North Side company's 
securing additional franchises for unoccupied streets, or 
even the use of the La Salle Street tunnel, had ended. 
Kaffrath did not know this. Neither did the directors or 
officers of the company, but it was true. In addition, 
McKenty, through the aldermen, who were at his beck 
and call on the North Side, was beginning to stir up addi- 
tional murmurs and complaints in order to discredit the 
present management. There was a great to-do in council 
over a motion on the part of somebody to compel the 
North Side company to throw out its old cars and lay 
better and heavier tracks. Curiously, this did not apply 
so much to the West and South Sides, which were in the 
same condition. The rank and file of the city, ignorant of 
the tricks which were constantly being employed in politics 
to effect one end or another, were greatly cheered by this 
so-called "public uprising." They little knew the pawns 
they were in the game, or how little sincerity constituted 
the primal impulse. 

Quite by accident, apparently, one day Addison, think- 
ing of the different men in the North Side company who 
might be of service to Cowperwood, and having finally 
picked young Kaffrath as the ideal agent, introduced him- 
self to the latter at the Union League. 

That's a pretty heavy load of expense that's staring 
you North and West Side street-railway people in the face," 
he took occasion to observe. 

"How's that?" asked Kaffrath, curiously, anxious to hear 
anything which concerned the development of the business. 

"Well, unless I'm greatly mistaken, you, all of you, are 
going to be put to the expense of doing over your lines 
completely in a very little while so I hear introducing 
this new motor or cable system that they are getting on 
the South Side." Addison wanted to convey the impres- 
sion that the city council or public sentiment or something 
was going to force the North Chicago company to indulge 
in this great and expensive series of improvements. 



Kaffrath pricked up his ears. What was the city council 
going to do? He wanted to know all about it. They dis- 
cussed the whole situation the nature of the cable-con- 
duits, the cost of the power-houses, the need of new rails, 
and the necessity of heavier bridges, or some other means 
of getting over or under the river. Addison took very good 
care to point out that the Chicago City or South Side Rail- 
way was in a much more fortunate position than either of 
the other two by reason of its freedom from the river- 
crossing problem. Then he again commiserated the North 
Side company on its rather difficult position. "Your 
company will have a very great deal to do, I fancy," he 

Kaffrath was duly impressed and appropriately de- 
pressed, for his eight hundred shares would be depressed 
in value by the necessity of heavy expenditures for tunnels 
and other improvements. Nevertheless, there was some 
consolation in the thought that such betterment, as Addi- 
son now described, would in the long run make the lines 
more profitable. But in the mean time there might be 
rough sailing. The old directors ought to act soon now, 
he thought. With the South Side company being done 
over, they would have to follow suit. But would they? 
How could he get them to see that, even though it were nec- 
essary to mortgage the lines for years to come, it would pay 
in the long run? He was sick of old, conservative, cau- 
tious methods. 

After the lapse of a few weeks Addison, still acting for 
Cowperwood, had a second and private conference with 
Kaffrath. He said, after exacting a promise of secrecy 
for the present, that since their previous conversation he 
had become aware of new developments. In the interval 
he had been visited by several men of long connection with 
street-railways in other localities. They had been visiting 
various cities, looking for a convenient outlet for their 
capital, and had finally picked on Chicago. They had 
looked over the various lines here, and had decided that 
the North Chicago City Railway was as good a field as 
any. He then elaborated with exceeding care the idea 
which Cowperwood had outlined to him. Kaffrath, dubious 
at first, was finally won over. He had too long chafed under 

1 80 


the dusty, poky attitude of the old regime. He did not 
know who these new men were, but this scheme was in line 
with his own ideas. It would require, as Addison pointed 
out, the expenditure of several millions of dollars, and he did 
not see how the money could be raised without outside as- 
sistance, unless the lines were heavily mortgaged. If these 
new men were willing to pay a high rate for fifty-one per 
cent, of this stock for ninety-nine years and would guarantee 
a satisfactory rate of interest on all the stock as it stood, 
besides inaugurating a forward policy, why not let them? 
It would be just as good as mortgaging the soul out of the 
old property, and the management was of no value, any- 
how. KafFrath could not see how fortunes were to be made 
for these new investors out of subsidiary construction and 
equipment companies, in which Cowperwood would be in- 
terested, how by issuing watered stock on the old and new 
lines the latter need scarcely lay down a dollar once he had 
the necessary opening capital (the "talking capital/' as he 
was fond of calling it) guaranteed. Cowperwood and Ad- 
dison had by now agreed, if this went through, to organize 
the Chicago Trust Company with millions back of it to 
manipulate all their deals. KafFrath only saw a better 
return on his stock, possibly a chance to get in on the 
"ground plan," as a new phrase expressed it, of the new 

"That's what I've been telling these fellows for the past 
three years," he finally exclaimed to Addison, flattered by 
the latter's personal attention and awed by his great in- 
fluence; "but they never have been willing to listen to 
me. The way this North Side system has been managed 
is a crime. Why, a child could do better than we have 
done. They've saved on track and rolling-stock, and lost 
on population. People are what we want up there, and 
there is only one way that I know of to get them, and that 
is to give them decent car service. I'll tell you frankly 
we've never done it." 

Not long after this Cowperwood had a short talk with 
KafFrath, in which he promised the latter not only six hun- 
dred dollars a share for all the stock he possessed or would 
part with on lease, but a bonus of new company stock for 
his influence. KafFrath returned to the North Side jubilant 



for himself and for his company. He decided after due 
thought that a roundabout way would best serve Cowper- 
wood's ends, a line of subtle suggestion from some seem- 
ingly disinterested party. Consequently he caused Wil- 
liam Johnson, the directing engineer, to approach Albert 
Thorsen, one of the most vulnerable of the directors, 
declaring he had heard privately that Isaac White, 
Arnold C. Benjamin, and Otto Matjes, three other directors 
and the heaviest owners, had been offered a very re- 
markable price for their stock, and that they were going to 
sell, leaving the others out in the cold. 

Thorsen was beside himself with grief. "When did you 
hear that?" he asked. 

Johnson told him, but for the time being kept the source 
of his information secret. Thorsen at once hurried to his 
friend, Solon Kaempfaert, who in turn went to Kaffrath 
for information. 

" I have heard something to that effect," was KaffratrTs 
only comment, "but really I do not know." 

Thereupon Thorsen and Kaempfaert imagined that Kaf- 
frath was in the conspiracy to sell out and leave them with 
no particularly valuable pickings. It was very sad. 

Meanwhile, Cowperwood, on the advice of Kaffrath, was 
approaching Isaac White, Arnold C. Benjamin, and Otto 
Matjes direct talking with them as if they were the only 
three he desired to deal with. A little later Thorsen and 
Kaempfaert were visited in the same spirit, and agreed in 
secret fear to sell out, or rather lease at the very advan- 
tageous terms Cowperwood offered, providing he could get 
the others to do likewise. This gave the latter a strong 
backing of sentiment on the board. Finally Isaac White 
stated at one of the meetings that he had been approached 
with an interesting proposition, which he then and there 
outlined. He was not sure what to think, he said, but the 
board might like to consider it. At once Thorsen and 
Kaempfaert were convinced that all Johnson had suggested 
was true. It was decided to have Cowperwood come and 
explain to the full board just what his plan was, and this he 
did in a long, bland, smiling talk. It was made plain that the 
road would have to be put in shape in the near future, and 
that this proposed plan relieved all of them of work, worry, 



and care. Moreover, they were guaranteed more interest 
at once than they had expected to earn in the next twenty 
or thirty years. Thereupon it was agreed that Cowper- 
wood and his plan should be given a trial. Seeing that if 
he did not succeed in paying the proposed interest prompt- 
ly the property once more became theirs, so they thought, 
and that he assumed all obligations taxes, water rents, 
old claims, a few pensions it appeared in the light of a 
rather idyllic scheme. 

"Well, boys, I think this is a pretty good day's work 
myself," observed Anthony Ewer, laying a friendly hand 
on the shoulder of Mr. Albert Thorsen. "I'm sure we can 
all unite in wishing Mr. Cowperwood luck with his ad- 
venture." Mr. Ewer's seven hundred and fifteen shares, 
worth seventy-one thousand five hundred dollars, having 
risen to a valuation of four hundred and twenty-nine 
thousand dollars, he was naturally jubilant. 

"You're right," replied Thorsen, who was parting with 
four hundred and eighty shares out of a total of seven 
hundred and ninety, and seeing them all bounce in value 
from two hundred to six hundred dollars. "He's an in- 
teresting man. I hope he succeeds." 

Cowperwood, waking the next morning in Aileen's room 
he had been out late the night before with McKenty, 
Addison, Videra, and others turned and, patting her neck 
where she was dozing, said: "Well, pet, yesterday after- 
noon I wound up that North Chicago Street Railway deal. 
I'm president of the new North Side company just as soon 
as I get my board of directors organized. We're going to 
be of some real consequence in this village, after all, in a 
year or two." 

He was hoping that this fact, among other things, would 
end in mollifying Aileen toward him. She had been so 
gloomy, remote, weary these many days ever since the 
terrific assault on Rita. 

"Yes?" she replied, with a half-hearted smile, rubbing 
her waking eyes. She was clad in a foamy nightgown of 
white and pink. "That's nice, isn't it?" 

Cowperwood brought himself up on one elbow and looked 
at her, smoothing her round, bare arms, which he always 



admired. The luminous richness of her hair had never 
lost its charm completely. 

"That means that I can do the same thing with the 
Chicago West Division Company in a year or so," he went 
on. " But there's going to be a lot of talk about this, I'm 
afraid, and I don't want that just now. It will work out 
all right. I can see Schryhart and Merrill and some of 
these other people taking notice pretty soon. They've 
missed out on two of the biggest things Chicago ever had 
gas and railways." 

"Oh yes, Frank, I'm glad for you," commented Aileen, 
rather drearily, who, in spite of her sorrow over his defec- 
tion, was still glad that he was going on and forward. 
"You'll always do all right." 

"I wish you wouldn't feel so badly, Aileen," he said, with 
a kind of affectional protest. "Aren't you going to try 
and be happy with me? This is as much for you as for 
me. You will be able to pay up old scores even better 
than I will." 

He smiled winningly. 

"Yes," she replied, reproachfully but tenderly at that, 
a little sorrowfully, "a lot of good money does me. It was 
your love I wanted." 

"But you have that," he insisted. "I've told you that 
over and over. I never ceased to care for you really. 
You know I didn't." 

"Yes, I know," she replied, even as he gathered her close 
in his arms. "I know now you care." But that did not 
prevent her from responding to him warmly, for back of 
all her fuming protest was heartache, the wish to have 
his love intact, to restore that pristine affection which she 
had once assumed would endure forever. 



THE morning papers, in spite of the efforts of Cowper- 
wood and his friends to keep this transfer secret, short- 
ly thereafter were full of rumors of a change in "North 
Chicago." Frank Algernon Cowperwood, hitherto un- 
mentioned in connection with Chicago street-railways, was 
pointed to as the probable successor to Onias C. Skinner, 
and Edwin L. Kaffrath, one of the old directors, as future 
vice-president. The men back of the deal were referred to 
as "in all likelihood Eastern capitalists." Cowperwood, as 
he sat in Aileen's room examining the various morning 
papers, saw that before the day was over he would be sought 
out for an expression of opinion and further details. He 
proposed to ask the newspaper men to wait a few days 
until he could talk to the publishers of the papers them- 
selves win their confidence and then announce a general 
policy; it would be something that would please the city, 
and the residents of the North Side in particular. At the 
same time he did not care to promise anything which he 
could not easily and profitably perform. He wanted fame 
and reputation, but he wanted money even more; he in- 
tended to get both. 

To one who had been working thus long in the minor 
realms of finance, as Cowperwood considered that he had 
so far been doing, this sudden upward step into the more 
conspicuous regions of high finance and control was an all- 
inspiring thing. So long had he been stirring about in a 
lesser region, paving the way by hours and hours of private 
thought and conference and scheming, that now when he 
actually had achieved his end he could scarcely believe for 
the time being that it was true. Chicago was such a splen- 
did city. It was growing so fast. Its opportunities were 



so wonderful. These men who had thus foolishly parted 
with an indefinite lease of their holdings had not really con- 
sidered what they were doing. This matter of Chicago 
street-railways, once he had them well in hand, could be 
made to yield such splendid profits! He could incorporate 
and overcapitalize. Many subsidiary lines, which McKenty 
would secure for him for a song, would be worth millions 
in the future, and they should be his entirely; he would not 
be indebted to the directors of the old North Chicago com- 
pany for any interest on those. By degrees, year by year, 
as the city grew, the lines which were still controlled by 
this old company, but were practically his, would become 
a mere item, a central core, in the so very much larger 
system of new lines which he would build up about it. 
Then the West Side, and even the South Side sections 
but why dream? He might readily become the sole mas- 
ter of street-railway traffic in Chicago! He might readily 
become the most princely financial ngure in the city and 
one of the few great financial magnates of the nation. 

In any public enterprise of any kind, as he knew, where 
the suffrages of the people or the privileges in their pos- 
sessions are desired, the newspapers must always be con- 
sidered. As Cowperwood even now was casting hungry 
eyes in the direction of the two tunnels one to be held in 
view of an eventual assumption of the Chicago West 
Division Company, the other to be given to the North 
Chicago Street Railway, which he had now organized, it 
was necessary to make friends with the various publishers. 
How to go about it? 

Recently, because of the influx of a heavy native and for- 
eign-born population (thousands and thousands of men of 
all sorts and conditions looking for the work which the 
growth of the city seemed to promise), and because of the 
dissemination of stirring ideas through radical individuals 
of foreign groups concerning anarchism, socialism, commu- 
nism, and the like, the civic idea in Chicago had become 
most acute. This very May, in which Cowperwood had 
been going about attempting to adjust matters in his favor, 
there had been a tremendous national flare-up, when in 
a great public place on the West Side known as the Hay- 
market, at one of a number of labor meetings, dubbed 

1 86 


anarchistic because of the principles of some of the speak- 
ers, a bomb had been hurled by some excited fanatic, which 
had exploded and maimed or killed a number of police- 
men, injuring slightly several others. This had brought to 
the fore, once and for all, as by a flash of lightning, the 
whole problem of mass against class, and had given it such 
an airing as in view of the cheerful, optimistic, almost in- 
consequential American mind had not previously been pos- 
sible. It changed, quite as an eruption might, the whole 
face of the commercial landscape. Man thought there- 
after somewhat more accurately of national and civic 
things. What was anarchism? What socialism? What 
rights had the rank and file, anyhow, in economic and 
governmental development? Such were interesting ques- 
tions, and following the bomb which acted as a great 
stone cast in the water these ripple-rings of thought were 
still widening and emanating until they took in such sup- 
posedly remote and impregnable quarters as editorial 
offices, banks and financial institutions generally, and the 
haunts of political dignitaries and their jobs. 

In the face of this, however, Cowperwood was not dis- 
turbed. He did not believe in either the strength of the 
masses or their ultimate rights, though he sympathized 
with the condition of individuals, and did believe that men 
like himself were sent into the world to better perfect its 
mechanism and habitable order. Often now, in these pre- 
liminary days, he looked at the large companies of men 
with their horses gathered in and about the several car- 
barns of the company, and wondered at their state. So 
many of them were so dull. They were rather like animals, 
patient, inartistic, hopeless. He thought of their shabby 
homes, their long hours, their poor pay, and then concluded 
that if anything at all could be done for them it would be 
pay them decent living wages, which he proposed to do 
nothing more. They could not be expected to understand 
his dreams or his visions, or to share in the magnificence 
and social dominance which he craved. He finally decided 
that it would be as well for him to personally visit the vari- 
ous newspaper publishers and talk the situation over with 
them. Addison, when consulted as to this project, was 
somewhat dubious. He had small faith in the newspapers. 


He had seen them play petty politics, follow up enmities 
and personal grudges, and even sell out, in certain cases, 
for pathetically small rewards. 

"I tell you how it is, Frank," remarked Addison, on one 
occasion. "You will have to do all this business on cotton 
heels, practically. You know that old gas crowd are still 
down on you, in spite of the fact that you are one of their 
largest stockholders. Schryhart isn't at all friendly, and 
he practically owns the Chronicle. Ricketts will just 
about say what he wants him to say. Hyssop, of the 
Mail and the Transcript, is an independent man, but 
he's a Presbyterian ana a cold, self-righteous moralist. 
Braxton's paper, the Globe, practically belongs to Merrill, 
but Braxton's a nice fellow, at that. Old General Mac- 
Donald, of the Inquirer, is old General MacDonald. 
It's all according to how he feels when he gets up in the 
morning. If he should chance to like your looks he might 
support you forever and forever until you crossed his 
conscience in some way. He's a fine old walrus. I like 
him. Neither Schryhart nor Merrill nor any one else can 
get anything out of him unless he wants to give it. He 
may not live so many years, however, and I don't trust 
that son of his. Haguenin, of the Press, is all right and 
friendly to you, as I understand. Other things being equal, 
I think he'd naturally support you in anything he thought 
was fair and reasonable. Well, there you have them. Get 
them all on your side if you can. Don't ask for the La 
Salle Street tunnel right away. Let it come as an after- 
thought a great public need. The main thing will be to 
avoid having the other companies stirring up a real fight 
against you. Depend on it, Schryhart will be thinking 
pretty hard about this whole business from now on. As 
for Merrill well, if you can show him where he can get 
something out of it for his store, I guess he'll be for you." 

It is one of the splendid yet sinister fascinations of life 
that there is no tracing to their ultimate sources all the 
winds of influence that play upon a given barque all the 
breaths of chance that fill or desert our bellied or our sag- 
ging sails. We plan and plan, but who by taking thought 
can add a cubit to his stature? Who can overcome or even 



assist the Providence that shapes our ends, rough hew them 
as we may. Cowperwood was now entering upon a great 
public career, and the various editors and public personali- 
ties of the city were watching him with interest. Augustus 
M. Haguenin, a free agent with his organ, the Press, and 
yet not free, either, because he was harnessed to the neces- 
sity of making his paper pay, was most interested. Lack- 
ing the commanding magnetism of a man like MacDon- 
ald, he was nevertheless an honest man, well-intentioned, 
thoughtful, careful. Haguenin, ever since the outcome of 
Cowperwood's gas transaction, had been intensely interested 
in the latter' s career. It seemed to him that Cowperwood 
was probably destined to become a significant figure. 
Raw, glittering force, however, compounded of the cruel 
Machiavellianism of nature, if it be but Machiavellian, 
seems to exercise a profound attraction for the convention- 
ally rooted. Your cautious citizen of average means, look- 
ing out through the eye of his dull world of seeming fact, 
is often the first to forgive or condone the grim butcheries 
of theory by which the strong rise. Haguenin, observing 
Cowperwood, conceived of him as a man perhaps as much 
sinned against as sinning, a man who would be faithful to 
friends, one who could be relied upon in hours of great 
stress. As it happened, the Haguenins were neighbors of 
the Cowperwoods, and since those days when the latter 
had attempted unsuccessfully to enter Chicago society this 
family had been as acceptable as any of those who had 
remained friendly. 

And so, when Cowperwood arrived one day at the office 
of the Press in a blowing snow-storm it was just before 
the Christmas holidays Haguenin was glad to see him. 
"It's certainly real winter weather we're having now, isn't 
it?' he observed, cheerfully. "How goes the North 
Chicago Street Railway business?" For months he, with 
the other publishers, had been aware that the whole North 
Side was to be made over by fine cable-tracks, power- 
houses, and handsome cars; and there already was talk 
that some better arrangement was to be made to bring the 
passengers into the down-town section. 

"Mr. Haguenin," said Cowperwood, smilingly he was 
arrayed in a heavy fur coat, with a collar of beaver and 



driving-gauntlets of dogskin "we have reached the place 
in this street-rail hlcm on the North Side v,h< 

are going to require the assistance of the newspaper 
at least their friendly support. At present our principal 
difficulty is all our ii n they come down-town* 

stop at Lake Street just this side of the bridges. That 
means a long walk for everybody to all the streets south of 
it, and, as you probably know, there has been considerable 

lamt. Besides that, thi affic is beconr 

ami, more what I may sav it has been for ycars-yan in- 
tolerable nuisance. \Ve nave all suffered from it. No 
effort has ever been made to regulate it, and because 
so heavy I doubt wl. r can be systematized in 

any .s i he best thing in the long run would 

be to tunnel under th Nut that is such an expct 

prop- hat, as things are now, we .1 position 

t<> undertake it. 1 he traffic on the North Side does not 

m it It really does not warrant the reconstm 
of the three bridges which we now use at )earborn, 

and Clark; yet, if we introduce the cable system, wlmh 

>w propose, these bridges will have to be done over. 
It seems to me, seeing that this is an enterprise in 
the public is as much interested almost as we are, that it 

e fair if the city should help pay for this r< 
st ruction work. All the land adjacent to these lines, and 
the property served by them, will be greatly enhanced in 
value. The city's taxing power VM!! rise tremendously. 
I have talked to several financiers here in Chicago, and 
they agree with me; but, as is usual in all such cases, I find 
that some of the politicians are against me. Since I have 
taken charge of the North Chicago company the attitude of 
one or two papers has not been any too friendly." (In the 
Chroniclf, controlled by Schryhart. there had already been 
a number of references to the probability that now, 
Cowperwood and his friends were in charge, the sky- 
rocketing tactics of the old Lake View, Hyde Park, and 
other gas organizations would be repeated. Braxton's Globf, 
owned by Merrill, being semi-neutral, had merely sug- 
gested that it hoped that no such methods would be re- 
peated here.) "Perhaps you may know," Cowperwood 
that we have a very sweeping programme of 


improvement in mind, if we can obtain proper public con- 
sideration and assistance." 

At this point he reached down in one of his pockets and 
drew forth astutely drafted maps and blue-prints, especial- 
ly prepared for this occasion. They showed main ca hit- 
lines on North Clark, La Salle, and \\Vlls streets. These 
lines coming down-town converged at Illinois and la Salle 
streets on the North Side and though Cowperwood made 
no reference to it at the moment, they were indicated on 
the map in red as running over or under the river at La 
Salle Street, where was no bridge, and emerging (therefrom, 
following a loop along La Salle to Munroe, to Dearborn, 

.mdolph, and thence into the tunnel again. Cowper- 
wood allowed Haguenin to gather the very interesting traffic 

hcance of it all before he proceeded. 
"On the map, Mr. Haguenin, I have indicated a plan 
\shu-h, if we can gain the consent of the city, will obviate 
any quarrel as to the great expense of reconstructing the 
bridges, and will make use of a piece of property whi 
absolutely without value to the city at present, hut which 
can be made into something of vav .icnce to the 

public. I am referring, as you see" he laid an indie 

: on the map in Mr. Hapuenin's hands "to the old 
La Salle Street tunnel, which is now boarded up and abso- 
lutely of no use to any one. It was built apparently under 
a misapprehension as to the grade the average loaded wagon 
could neu it was found to be unprofitable it 

wai sold to the city and locked up. If you have ever been 
through it you know what condition it is in. My engineers 
tell me the walls are leaking, and that there is gre 
of a cave-in unless it is very speedily repaired. I am also 
told that it will require about four hundred thousand dol- 
lars to put it in suitable condition for use. My theory is 
that if the North Chicago Street Railway is willinn to go 
to this expense t ^ake of solving this bridge^ 

problem, and giving the residents of the North Side a 
sensible and uninterrupted service into the business heart, 
the c be willing to make us a present of this 

tunnel for the time being, or at least a long lease at a purely 
nominal rental." 

Cowperwood paused to see what Haguenin would say. 



The latter was looking at the map gravely, wondering 

\vht-rht-r it fair for Cbwperwood to make this dcmarul. 

wood u-thiT tl. ant it to him without 

n, wondering whether the bridge-traffic prob- 

vas as serious as he pointed out, wondering, indeed, 

her this whole move was not a clever ruse to obtain 

something for nothing. 

"And what is this?" he asked, laying a finger on the 

mentioned loop. 

"That/* replied Cowperwopd, " is the only method we have 
been able to figure out of serving the down-town business sec- 
tion and the North Side, and otfohriaf this bridge problem. 

as I hope we shall, all the cars of 

these North Side lines will emerge here" he pointed to La 
Salic and Randolph "and swing around that is, 
will if the city council give us the right of way. I think, 
of course, there can be no reasonable objection to 
There is no reason why th- s of the North Side 

shouldn't have as comfortable an access to the business 
heart as those of the West or South Side." 

"None in the world," Mr. Haguenin was compelled to 
admit. "Are you satisfied, however, that the council and 
the city should sanction the gift of a loop of this kind with- 
out some form of compensation?" 

" I see no reason wl shouldn't," replied Cowper- 

wood, in a somewhat injured tone. "There has never been 
question of compensation where other improvements 
have been suggested for the city in the past. The South 
Side company has been allowed to turn in a loop around 
State and Wabash. The Chicago City Passenger Railway 
has a loop in Adams and gton streets. 

"Quite so," said Mr. Haguenin, vaen- "That is 
true. But this tunnel, now do you think that should fall 
in the same category of public beneficences?" 

At the same time he could not help thinking, as he'looked 
at the proposed loop indicated on the map, that tru 
cable line, with its string of trailers, wmild m\< J 

rulv mt ' 
splendid outlet for the North Side. The streets in question 

vent commercial thoroughfares, crowded 
at th ith structures five, six, seven, and even eight 



stones high, and brimming with heavy streams of eager 
life fresh, optimistic. Because of the narrow area 

into which the commercial life of the city tended to 

itself, this property and these streets were immensely 
valuable amone the most valuable in the whole 
Also he observed that if this loop did come here its cars, 
on their return trip along Dearborn Street, would pass by 

cry door the office of the Press thereby enhancing 
the value of that property of which he was the ov. ; 

I certainly do, Mr. Hapienin," n turned Cowperwood, 
emphatically, in answer to his query. " Personally, I should 
think Chicago would be glad to pay a bonus to g< 
street-railway service straightened out, especially where a 
corporation comes forward with a liberal, conservative pro- 
gramme such as this. It means millions in pr.wth <>f prop- 
K-S on the North Side. It means millions to tin 

icss heart to have this loop system laid down just as I 

He put his finger firmly on the map which he had 
and Haguenin agreed with him the plan was 
undoubtedly a sound business proposin "Person. 
I should be the last to complain." M added, "for the line 
pastes my door. At the same time this tunnel, as I under- 
stand it, cost in the neighborhood of eight hundred f 
sand or a million dollars. It is a delicate problem, 
should like to know what the other editors think of it, and 
bow the city council itself would feel toward it " 

vperwood nodded. "Certainly, certainly." he said. 
"With pleasure. I would not come here at all if I did not 
feel that I had a perfectly legitimate proposition one that 
the press of the city should unite in supporting. Where a 
corporation such as ours is facing large expenditures, which 
have to be financed by outside capital, it is on!-. 
that we should wish to allay useless, ground!* ^ 
in advance. I hope we may command your support." 

"I hope you may," smiled Mr. Haguenin. They parted 
the best of friends. 

The other publishers, guardians of the city's privileges, 
were not <juite so genial as Haguenin in their app: 
of Cowperwood's proposition. The use of a tunnel and 
7 '93 


several of the most important down-town streets might 
readily be essential to the development of Cowperwood's 
North Side schemes, but the gift of them was a different 
matter. Already, as a matter of fact, the various publishers 
and editors had been consulted by Schryhart, Merrill, and 
others with a view to discovering how they felt as to this 
new venture, and whether Cowperwood would be cheerfully 
indorsed or not. Schryhart, smarting from the wounds he 
had received in the gas war, viewed this new activity on 
Cowperwood's part with a suspicious and envious eye. 
To him much more than to the others it spelled a new and 
dangerous foe in the street-railway field, although all the 
leading citizens of Chicago were interested. 

" I suppose now," he said one evening to the Hon. Walter 
Melville Hyssop, editor and publisher of the Transcript 
and the Evening Mail, whom he met at the Union League, 
"that this fellow Cowperwood will attempt some disturb- 
ing coup in connection with street-railway affairs. He is 
just the sort. I think, from an editorial point of view, his 
political connections will bear watching. ' Already there 
were rumors abroad that McKenty might have something 
to do with the new company. 

Hyssop, a medium-sized, ornate, conservative person, 
not so sure. "We shall find out soon enough, no doubt, 
what propositions Mr. Cowperwood has in hand," he re- 
marked. "He is very energetic and capable, as I under- 
stand it." 

Hyssop and Schryhart, as well as the latter and Merrill, 
had been social friends for years and years. 

After his call on Mr. Haguenin, Cowperwood's naturally 
selective and self-protective judgment led him next to the 
office of the Inquirer, old General MacDonald's paper, where 
he found that because of rhuematism and the severe, in- 
clement weather of Chicago, the old General had sailed 
only a few days before for Italy. His son, an aggressive, 
mercantile type of youth of thirty-two, and a managing 
editor by the name of Du Bois were acting in his stead. 
In the son, Truman Leslie MacDonald, an intense, calm, 
and penetrating young man, Cowperwood encountered some 
one who, like himself, saw life only from the point of view 
of sharp, self-centered, personal advantage. What was he, 



Truman Leslie MacDonald, to derive from any given 
situation, and how was he to make the Inquirer an even 
greater property than it had been under his father before 
him? He did not propose to be overwhelmed by the old 
General's rather flowery reputation. At the same time 
he meant to become imposingly rich. An active member 
of a young and very smart set which had been growing up 
on the North Side, he rode, drove, was instrumental in 
organizing a new and exclusive country club, and despised 
the rank and file as unsuited to the fine atmosphere to 
which he aspired. Mr. Clifford Du Bois, the managing 
editor, was a cool reprobate of forty, masquerading as a 
gentleman, and using the Inquirer in subtle ways for further- 
ing his personal ends, and that under the old General's very 
nose. He was osseous, sandy-haired, blue-eyed, with a 
keen, formidable nose and a solid chin. Clifford Du Bois 
was always careful never to let his left hand know what his 
right hand did. 

It was this sapient pair that received Cowperwood in the 
old General's absence, first in Mr. Du Bois's room and then 
in that of Mr. MacDonald. The latter had already heard 
much of Cowperwood's doings. Men who had been con- 
nected with trie old gas war Jordan Jules, for instance, 
president of the old North Chicago Gas Company, and 
Hudson Baker, president of the old West Chicago Gas 
Company had denounced him long before as a bucaneer 
who had pirated them out of very comfortable sinecures. 
Here he was now invading the North Chicago street-railway 
field and coming with startling schemes for the reorganiza- 
tion of the down-town business heart. Why shouldn't the 
city have something in return; or, better yet, those who 
helped to formulate the public opinion, so influential in the 
success of Cowperwood's plans ? Truman Leslie MacDonald, 
as has been said, did not see life from his father's point of 
view at all. He had in mind a sharp bargain, which he 
could drive with Cowperwood during the old gentleman's 
absence. The General need never know. 

"I understand your point of view, Mr. Cowperwood," 
he commented, loftily, "but where does the city come in? 
I see very clearly how important this is to the people of 
the North Side, and even to the merchants and real-estate 



rs in the down-town section; but that simply means 
that it is tin tunes as important to you. Undoubtedly, it 
will help the city, but tht rowing, anyhow, and that 

will help you. I've said all along that these public fran- 
chises were worth more than they used to be worth. No- 
body seems to see it very clearly as yet, but it's true 
just the same. That tunnel !i more now than the 

it was built. Even if the cir use it, somebody 


He was meaning to indicate a rival car line. 

Cowpcrwood bristled internally. 

"That's all very well," he said, preserving his surface 
composure, "but why make fish of one and flesh of an- 
otlu-r? The South Side company has a loop for which it 
never paid a dollar. So has the Chicago City Passenger 
Railway. The North Side company is planning more ex- 
ive improvements than were ever undertaken by any 
single company before. I hardly think it is fair to 
the question of compensation and a franchise tax at this 
. and in connection with this one company only." 

"Urn well, that may be true of the other companies. 
The South Side company had those streets long ago. 'I h v 
merely connected them up. But this tunnel, now that's 
a different matter, isn't it? The city bought and paid for 
that, didn't 

lite true to help out men who saw that they couldn't 
make another dollar out of it/' said Cowpcrwood, a< 
"Bur no use t> 11 cave in pretty soon 

if it isn't repaired. Why, the consent of property-own M > 
alone, along the line loop, is going to aggregate a 

considerable sum. It seems to me instead of hampering a 
great work of this kind the public ought to do everything 
in its power to assist it. It means giving a new metropoli- 
tan flavor to this down-roun sei-tin. It is time Chicago 
was getting out of its swaddling clot! 

Mr. MacDonald, the younger, shook his head. He saw 
clearly enough the significance of the points made, but he 
was jealous of Cowperwood and of his success. This loop 
franchise and tunnel gift meant millions for some one. 
Why shouldn't there be something in it for him? I!< 
called in Mr. Du Bois and went over the proposit 



him. Quite without effort the latter sensed the drift of 
the situation. 

"It's an excellent proposition," he said. "I don't see 
but that the city should have something, though. Public 
sentiment is rather against gifts to corporations just at 

Cowperwood caught the drift of what was in young 
MacDonaM's mind. 

"Well, what would you suggest as a fair rate of com- 
pensation to the city?' he asked, cautiously, wondering 
!u r this aggressive youth would go so far as to commit 
himself in any way. 

"<'h, well, as to that," MacDonald replied, with a de- 
precatory wave of his hand, "I couldn't say. It oupl 
bear a reasonable relationship to the value of the utility 
as it now stands. I should want to think that over. I 
shouldn't want to see the city demand anything unre;. 
able. Certainly, though, there is a privilege here that is 
worth something." 

Cowperwood flared inwardly. His greatest weakness, if 
he had one, was that he could but ill brook opposition of any 
kind. This young upstart, with his thin, cool face and 
sharp, hard eyes! He would have liked to tell him and his 
paper to go to the devil. He went away, hoping that he 
could influence the Inquirer in some other way upon the 
old General's return. 

As he was sitting next morning in his office in North Clark 
Street he was aroused by the still novel-sounding bell of the 
telephone one of the earliest in use on the wall back of 
him. After a parley with his secretary, he was informed 
that a gentleman connected with the Inquirer wished to 
speak with him. 

"This is the Inquirer" said a voice which Cowperwood, 
his ear to the receiver, thought he recognized as that of 
young Truman MacDonald, the General's "You 

rd to know," continued the voice, "what would be 
considered adequate compensation so far as that tunnel 
matter is concerned. Can you hear me?" 
." replied Cowperwood. 

"Well, I snould not care to influence your judgment one 
way or the other; but if my opinion were asked I should 



say about fifty thousand dollars* worth of North Chicago 
Street Railway stock would be satisfactory." 

The voice was young, clear, steely. 

"To whom would you suggest that it might he p 
CowpMerwood asked, softly, quite genially. 

"Thar 1 would suggest, might be left to your very 

sound judgment." 

1 he voice ceased. The receiver was hung up. 

"Wfll. I'll be damned!" Cowperwood said, lookine at 

the floor reflect ivi-lv. A smile spread over his face. I'm 

not going to be held up like that. I don't need to be. It 

worth it. Not at prcst " His teeth set. 

He was underestimating Mr. Truman Leslie MacDonakl, 
principally because he did not like him. He thought his 
father might return and oust him. It was one of the most 
viral in :st. ikes he ever made in his 1 



DURING this period of what might have been called 
financial and commercial progress, the affairs of Aileen 
and Cowperwood had been to a certain extent smoothed 
over. Each summer now, partly to take Aileen's mind off 
herself and partly to satisfy his own desire to see the world 
and collect objects of art, in which he was becoming more 
and more interested, it was Cowperwood's custom to make 
with his wife a short trip abroad or to foreign American 
land^ :ig in these two years Russia, Scandin. 

mine. Chili, and Mexico. Their plan was to leave in 
Mav or June with the outward rush of traffic, and return 
in September or early October. His idea was to soothe 
Aileen as much as possible, to fill her mind with pleasing 
anticipations as to ner e\ < >cial triumph somewhere 

in New York or London, if not Chicago to make her 
feel that in spite of his physical desertion he was still 
spiritually loyal. 

By now also Cowperwood was so shrewd that he had the 
ability to simulate an affection and practise a gallantry 
which he did not feel, or, rather, that was not backed by 
real passion. He was the soul of attention; he would buy 
her flowers, jewels, knickknacks, and ornaments; he would 
see that her comfort was looked after to the last detail; and 
yet, at the very same moment, perhaps, he would be look- 
ing cautiously about to see what life might offer in the 

of illicit entertainment. Aileen knew this, although 
she could not prove it to be true. At !the same time sne 
had an affection and an admiration for the man which 
gripped her in spite of herself. 

You have, perhaps, pictured to yourself the mood of 
some general who has perhaps suffered a great defeat; 



the employee uh<> after years of faithful service finds him- 
J. \\ sh.ill lite say to the loving \\hc-n 
their love is no longer of any value, when all that has been 
placed upon the altar of affection has been found to be a 
sacrifice? Philosophy? Give that to dolls to plav 
with. Religion? Seek first the metaphysical-minded. 
Aileen was no longer the lithe, f. >r\< ful. J \ namic girl of 
1865, when Cowperwood first met her. She was still 
beautiful, it is true, a fair, full-blown, m.itronly creature 
not more than thirty-five, looking perhaps thirty, feeling, 
alas, that she was a girl and still as attractive as ever 1 
is a grim thing to a woman, however fortunately plac< 

/e that age is creeping on, and that love, iii 
will-o'-the-wisp, is fading into the ultimate dark. Aileen, 
within the hour of her greatest triumph, had seen love die. 

is useless to tell herself, as she did sometimes, it 
might come back, revive. Her ultimately realistic tem- 
perament told her this could never be. Though she had 
routed Rita Sohlberg, she was fully aware that Cowpcr- 
wood's original constancy was gone. She was no longer 
happy. Love was dead. That sweet illusion, with its 
pearly pink for h< .m :md borders, that laughing cherub lures with Cupid's mouth and misty eye, that y 
tendril of the vine of life that whispers of eternal spring- 
that calls and calls where a en ing, wearied fee 
legion follow, was no longer in existence. 

In vain the tears, the storms, the self-tort tin ; in vain the 
looks in the mirror, the studied examination of plump, sweet 
features still fresh and inviting. One day, at the sight of 
tired under her eyes, sne ripped from her n< 

lovely ruche that she was adjusting and, throwing li- 
on her bed, cried as though her heart would break. Why 
primp? Why ornament? Her Frank did not love 
\Vhat to her now was a handsome residence in Mul 
Avenue, the refinements of a French boudoir, or clothing 
that the gamut of the dressmaker's art,^ 
like orchids blooming in serried rows? In v.iin, in 
Like the raven perched above the lintel of the door, 
sad memory was here, grave in her widow v 

<T more." Aileen knew that the sweet illi 

i bound Cowperwood to her for a time had gone 


and would never come again. He was here. His step 
was in the room mornings and evenings; at night for long 
prosaic, uninterrupted periods she could him bn 
ing by her side, his hand on her body. There were other 
nights v. lun he was not there when he was "out of the 

and she resigned herself to accept his excuses 
their face value. Why quarrel? she asked lursdt. What 
could she do? She was waiting, waiting, but for what? 

And Cowperwood, n< e, unalterable 

changes which time works in us all, the inward lap of the 
marks of age, the fluted recession of that splendor and 
radiance which is youth, sighed at times perhaps, but 
turned his face to that dawn which is forever breaking 
DB youth is. Not for him that poetic loyalty \shich 
substitutes for the perfection of young love its memories, or 
takes for the glitter of passion and desire that once was the 
happy thoughts of companionship -the crystal memories 
that like early dews congealed remain beaded recollections 
to comfort or torture for the end of former joys. On the 
contrary, after the vanishing of Rita Sohlberg, with all that 
she meant in the way of a delicate insouciance which Aileen 
had never kno\vn, nis temperament ached, for he must 
have something like that. Truth to say, he must always 
have youth, the illusion of beauty, vanity in womanhood, 
the novelty of a new, untested temperament, quite as he 
must have pictures, old porcelain, music, a mansion, il- 
luminated missals, power, the applause of the great, un- 
thinking world. 

As has been said, this promiscuous attitude on Cowper- 
wood's part was the natural flowering out of a temperament 
that was chronically promiscuous, intellectually i; 
tain, and philosophically anarchistic. From one poii 

it might have been said of him that he was seeking 
the realization of an ideal, yet to one's amazement our very 
ideals change at times and leave us floundering in the dark. 
\ is an ideal, anyhow? A wraith, a mist, a perfume in 
the wind, a dream of fair water. The soul-yearning of a 
girl like Antoinette Nowak was a little too strained for 
him. It was too ardent, too clinging, and he had gradually 
d himself, not without difficult), from that par- 
ticular entanglement. Since then he had been intimate 



with other women for brief periods, hut to no great satis- 
faction Dorothy Ormshy, Jessie Belle HinsO*] 
Lewis, Hilda Jewell; hut they shall he names merely. 
One was an actress, one a stenographer, one the daiu 
of one of his stock patrons, one a church-worker, a soli 
for charity coming to him to seek help for an orphan's 
home. It was a pathetic mess at times, hut so are all de- 
van. mons from the accustomed drift of things. In 
the hardy language of Napoleon, one cannot make an 
omelette without cracking a number of eggs. 

The coming of Stephanie Platow, Russian leuess on 
one side of her family, Southwestern American on the 
other, was an event in Co\\perwood's life. She was tall, 
graceful, brilliant, young, with much of the optimism of 
Sohllu-rg, and yet endowed with a strange fatalism 
which, once he knew her better, touched and moved him. 
He met her on shipboard on the way to Goteborg. Her fath- 
. adore Platow, was a wealthy furrier of Chicago. He 
a large, meaty, oily type of man a kind of ambling, 
nous formula of the male, with the usual sound com- 
mercial instincts of the Jew. but with an errant philosophy 
which led him to believe first one thing and thm an 
so long as neither interfered definitely with his business. 
He was an admirer of Henry George and of so altruistic a 
programme as that of Robert Owen, and, also, in his way, 
.' snb. And yet he had married Susetta Osborn. a 
Texas girl who was once his bookkeeper. Mrs. Platow was 
lithe, amiable, subtle, with an eye always to the main social 
chance^ in other words, a climber. She was shrewd enough 
to real r// that a knowledge of books and art and current 
-s was and so she "went in" for these things. 
It is rurious how the temperaments of parents blend and 
revivify in their children. As Stephanie grew up she had 
repeated in her very differing boay some of her father's 
and I rics an interesting variability of 

soul. She was tall, dark, sallow, lithe, with ;< 
moodiness of heart and a recessive, fulgurous gleam in her 
chestnut-brown, almost brownish-black eyes. She had a 
full, sensuous, Cupid's mouth, a dreamy and even languish- 
ing expression, a graceful nrck, and a heavy, dark, and yet 
pleasingly modeled face. From both her father and mot In i 



she had inherited a penchant for art, literature, philosophy, 
and music. Already at eighteen she . aming of 

painting, singing, writing poetry, writing books, acting 
anything and everything. Serene in her own jiulgnu : 
what \sas worth whih . | like to lay stress on any silly 

mood or fad, thinking it exquisite the last word. Finally, 
she was a rank voluptuary, dreaming dreams of passionate 
union with Hrst one and then another type of artist, poet, 
musician the whole gamut of the artistic and emotional 

Cowperwood first saw her on board the Cfnturion one 
June morning, as the ship lay at dock in New York. He 
and Aileen were en route for Norway, she and her father 
and mother for Denmark and Switzerland. She was 1 
ing over the starboard rail looking at a flock of wide-winged 
gulls which were besieging the port of the cook's galley. 
She was musing soulfully conscious (fully) that she 
musing soulfully. He paid very lirrlc attention to her, ex- 
(0 note that she was tall, rhythmic, and that a dark- 
plaid dress, and an immense veil of gray silk wound 
about her shoulders and waist and over one arm, after the 
manner of a Hindu shawl, appeared to become her much. 
Her face seemed very sallow, and her eyes ringed as if 
indicating dyspepsia Her black hair under a chic hat 
did not escape his critical eve. Later she and her father 
appeared at the captain's table, to which the Cowperwoods 
had also been invited. 

Cowperwood and Aileen did not know how to take this 
girl, though slu interested them both. They little suspi 
the chameleon character of her soul. She was an artist, 
and as formless and unstable as water. It was a mere | 

loom that possessed her. Cowperwood liked the semi- 
h v ast of her face, a certain fullness of the mvk, her 
dark, sleepy eyes. But she was much too young and 
nebulous, he thought, and he let her pass. On this trip, 
which endured for ten days, he saw much of her, in different 
moods, walking with a young Jew in whom she seemed 
iv interested, playing at shuffleboard, reading solemn- 
ly in a corner out of the reach of the wind or spray, and 
usually looking naive, preternaturally innocent, remote, 
dreamy. At other times she seemed possessed of a wild 



animation, her eyes alight, HIT >n vigorous, :m 

intense glow in her soul. ( )nce he saw her bent over a 
wood block, cutting a book-plate with a thin steel gra\ m.; 

Because of Stephanie's youth and seeming unimportance, 
her lack <>t mipht be called compelling rosy charm. 
Aileen had become reasonably friendly with the girl. 
subtler, even at her years, than Aileen, Stephanie gathered 
a very good impression of the former, of her mental girth, 
and how to take her. She made friends with her, made a 
book-plate for her, made a sketch of her. She confided to 
Aileen that in her own mind she was destined for the 
stage, if her parents would permit; and AiU-i-n invited her 
to see her husband's pictures on their return. She little- 
knew how much of a part Stephanie would play in Cowper- 
wood's life. 

The Cowperwoods, having been put down at Goteborg, saw 
no more of the Platows until late October. 1 h 
being lonely, called to sec Stephanie, and occasionally there- 
aftrr Stephanie came over to the South Side to sec the Cow- 
perwoods. She liked to roam about their house, to dream 
meditatively in some nook of the rich interior, \vith a book 
for company. She liked Cowperwood's pictures, his jades, 
his missals, his ancient radiant glass. From talking with 
Aileen she realized that the latter had no real love for 
these things, that her expressions rest and pleasure 

were pure make-believe, based on their value as possessions. 
For Stephanie herself certain of the illuminated books and 
bits of glass had a heavy, sensuous appeal, which only the 
truly artistic can understand. They unlocked dark dream 
moods and pageants for her. She responded to them, 
lingered over them, experienced strange moods from them 
as from the orchestrated richness of music. 

And in doing so she thought of Cowperwood ot 
Did he really like these things, or was ne just buying 
them to be buyinp them? She had heard much of 
the pseudo artistic the people who made a show ot 
She recalled Cowperwood as he walked the deck of the 
Centurion. She remembered his large, comprehensive, em- 
bracing blue-gray eyes that seemed to blaze with intdh:; 
He seemed to her quite obviously a more forceful and 



ant man than her father, and yet she could not have 
said why. He always seemed so trigly dressed, so ut.ll 
put together. 1 here was a friendly warmth ahout all 
that he said or did, though he said or did little. She felt 
that his eves were mocking, that back in his soul there 
was some kind of humor over something which she did not 
understand quite. 

After Stephanie had been back in Chicago six months, 
during whicn time she saw very little of Cowperwood, who 
was busy with his street-railway programme, she was swept 
into the net of another interest which carried her auay 
from him and Aileen for the time 1 ' >n the West 

Side, among a circle of her mother's friends, had been 
organized an Amateur Dramatic League, with no less object 
than to elevate the stage. That world-old problem never 
to irmust the new and the inexDerienced. It all be- 
gan in the home of one of the new ricn of the West Side 
the Timberlakes. They, in their large house on Ashland 
Avenue, had a stage, and Georgia Timberlake, a romantic- 
minded girl of twenty with flaxen hair, imagined she could 
act. Mrs. Timberlake, a fat, indulgent mother, rather 
agreed with her. The whole idea, after a ft 
performances of Milton's "The Masque of Com UN." 
'Pyramus and This be," and an improved Harlequin and 
Columbine, written bv one of the members BUtt- 

ferred to the realm of the studios, then quartered in the 
New Arts Building. An artist bv the name of Lane Cross, 
a portrait-painter, who was much less of an aitist than he 
was a stage director, and not much of either, but who made 
his living by hornswaggling society into the belief that he 
could paint, was induced to take charge of these stage per- 
form an 

By degrees the "Garrick Players," as they chose to 

es, developed no little skill and craftsmanship 
in presenting one form and another of classic and semi- 
ic play. "Romeo and Juliet," with few properties 
of any kind, "The Learned " of Moliere, Sru ri- 

d.mV" llu Rivals," and the "Elektra" of >n P h,K Us 
all given. Considerable ability of one kind and another 
was developed, the group including two actresses of sub- 
sequent repute on the American stage, one of whom 



Stephanie Platow. There were some ten girls and women 
among the active members, and almost as mm 
a variety of characters much too extended to discuss 1 
There was a dramatic critic by the name of Gardner 
Kn<> <>iiim in. UK very smug and handsome-, who 

was connected with the Chicago Press. Whipping his 
neatly trousered legs with his bright little cane, he 
to appear at the rooms of the players at the Tuesday, 
Ihursday, and Saturday teas which they inaugurated, 
and discuss the merits of the venture. Thus the (Jarrick 
Players were gradually introduced into the newspapers. 
Lane Cross, looth-faced, pttl \\ho 

had charge, was a rake at heart, a subtle t wom- 

en, who. however, escaped detection by a smooth. 
ventional be He was interested in such girl 

Georgia Timberlake, Irma Ottley, a rosy, aggressive 
maiden who essayed comic roles, and Stephanie rl.i 
These, with another girl, Ethel Tuckerman, very emotional 
and romantic, who could dance charmingly and 
made up a group of friends which became very 
Present ly intimacies sprnr nly in this realm, instead 

of ending in marriage, they merely resulted in sex lit 

Ethel Tuckerman became the mistress of Lane C : 
an illicit attachment grew up between Irma Ottley and a 
Young society idler by the name of Bliss Bridge; and 
Gardrvr Knowles, ardently admiring Platow, 
literally seized upon her one afternoon in her own 
home, when he went ostensibly to interview her, and 
oyerpersuaded her. She was only reasonably fond of 
him, not in love; but, being generous, nebulous, passion- 
ate, emotional, inexperienced, voiceless, and vainly curious, 
without any sense of the meums and teums that govern 
society in such matters, she allowed this rather brutal thing 
to happen. She was not a coward was too nebulous 
yet forceful to be such. Her parents never knew. And 
once so launched, another world that of sex satisfaction 
began to dawn on her. 

Were these young people evil ? Let the social philosopher 
answer. One thing is certain: They did not establish 
homes and raise children. On the contrary, they led a 
gay, butterfly existence for nearly two years; then came a 


rift in the lute. Quarrels developed over parts, respective 
degrees of ability, and leadership. Ethel Tuckerman fell 
out with Lane Cross, because she discovered him making 
love to Irma Ottley. Irma and Bliss Bridge released each 
other, the Jatter transferring his affections to Georgia 
Timberlake. , Stephanie Platow, by far the most in- 
dividual of them all, developed a strange inconsequence 
as to her deeds. It was when she was drav. nm marine age 
of twenty that the affair with Gardner Knowles began. 
After a time Lane Cross, with his somewhat earnest at- 
tempt at artistic interpretation and his superiority in the 
matter of years he was forty, and yuun^ KnnuKs only 
twenty-four seemed more interesting to Stephanie, and 
he was quick to respond. There followed an idle, passion- 
ate union with this man, which seemed important, out 
not so at all. And then ir was that Stephanie he^an dimly 
to perceive that it was on and on that the blessings lie, 
that somewhere there might be some man much more re- 
markable than either of these; but this was only a dream. 
She thought of Cowperwood at times; but he seemed to 
her to be too \\rapped up in grim tremendous things, far 

r from this romantic world of amateur dramati 
which she was inv>l\ 



^OWPERWOOD gained his first real impression of 
\^s Stephanie at the Garrick Players, where he went uith 
Ailren once to witness a oerformance of "Elcktra." I It- 
liked Stephanie particularly in this part, and thought her 
riful. One evening not long afterward he noticed her 
in his own home looking at his jades, particularly a row of 
bracelets and ear-rings. He liked the rhythmic outline of 
her body, which reminded him of a letter S in motion. 
Quite suddenly it came over him that she was a remarkable 

Sri very destined, perhaps, to some significant future, 
t the same time Stephanie was thinking of him. 

"Do you find them interesting?" he asked, stopping 
beside her. 

" I think they're wonderful. Those dark-greens, and 
that pale, fatty white! I ^ .m see how beautiful they would 
be in a Chinese setting. I have always wished we c 
find a Chinese or Japanese play to produce sometime." 

"Yes, with your black hair those ear-rings would look 
" said Cowperwood. 

He had never deigned to comment on a feature of hers 
before. She turned her dark, brown-black eyes on him 
velvety eyes with a kind of black glow in them and n<>w 
he noticed how truly fine they were, and how nice were her 
hands brown almost as a Mala 

He said nothing more; but the next day an unlaheled 
box was delivered to Stephanie at her home o-nt. lining a 
pair of jade ear-rings, a br nd a brooch with Hi .ited. Steph.mie was besule herself with 

delight. She gathered them up in her hands and kissed 
them. -he ear-rinps in her ears and adjusting the 

bracelet and ring. Despite her experience with her friends 



and relatives, her stage associates, and her paramours, she 

still a little unschooled in the world. Her heart 
essentially poetic and innocent. No one had ever given 
her much of anything not even her parents. Her allow- 
ance thus far in life had been a pitiful six dollars a week 
ide of her clothing. As she surveyed these pretty 
things in the privacy of her room she wondered oddlv 
v. he t her Cowperwood was growing to like her. Would such 
a strong, hard business man be interested in her? She had 
i her father say he was becoming very ru h. Was she 
a great actress, as some said she was, and would strong, 
able types of men like Cowpcrwood take to her eventu- 
: She had heard of Rachel, of Nell Gwynne, of the 
ie Sarah and her loves. She took the precious gifts 
and locked them in a black-iron box which was sacred to 

trinkets and her seer 

The mere acceptance of these things in silence was suffi- 
:<>n to Cowperwood that she was of a friendly 
turn of mind. He waited patiently until one day a letter 
came to his office not his house addressed, "Frank 
Algernon Cowperwood, Personal." It was written in a 
sin. ill. .m t'ul hand, almost printed. 

I don't know how to thank you for your wonderful present. 
I didn't mean you should give tnem to me, and I know you sent 
them. I shall keep them with pleasure and wear them with de- 
light. It was to nice of you to do this. 


Cowperwood studied the handwriting, the paper, the 

phraseology. For a girl of only a little over twenty this 

HIM .ind reserved and tactful. She might have 

n to him at his residence. He gave her the benefit 

MI' a \M-i-L \ time, and then found her in his M\S n home one 

Sunday afternoon. Aileen had gone calling, and Stephanie 

was pretending to await her return. 

"It's nice to see you there in that window," he said. 
"You fir \-Mur background perfectly." 

The black-broun eyes burned soulfully. The 
panneling back of her was of dark oak, burnished by the 
rays of an afternoon winter sun. 

Stephanu IMatow had dressed for this opportunity. Her 



full, rich, short black hair was caught by a childish band 
of blood-red ribbon, holding it low over her temples and 
ears. Her lithe body, so harmonious in its ^ >und- 

ness, was clad in an apple-green bodice, and a black skirt 
with gussets of red about the hem; her smooth arms, from 
the elbows down, were bare. On one wrist was the jade 
bracelet he had given her. Her stockings were apple-green 
silk, and, despite the chill of the day, her feet were shod in 
. low slippers with brass buckles. 

Cowperwood retired to the hall to hang up his overcoat 
and came back smiling. 

r Mrs. Cowperwood abo 

' The butler says she's out calling, but I thought I'd 
wait a little while, anyhow. She may come ba^ 

She turned up a dark, smiling face t<> him. with lang 
ine, inscrutable eyes, and he recognized the artist at last, 
full and clear. 

I sec you like my bracelet, don't y<* 

\ hr.uifit'ul." she replied, looking down and survey- 
ing it dreamily. "I don't always wear it. I carry it in 
my muff. I've just put it on for a little while. I carry 
them all with me always. I love them so. I like to feel 
n. M 

She opened a small chamois bag beside her lying with 
her handkerchief and a sketch-book which she always 
carried and took out the ear-rings and brooch. 

Cowperwood glowed with a strange feeling of appr 
and enthusiasm at this manifestation of real interest. He 
liked jade himself very much, but more than that the feel- 
ing that prompted this expression in another. Roughly 
speaking, it might have been said of him that youth 
hope in women ^particularly youth when combined with 
beauty and ambition in a girl touched him. 1 Ic responded 
keenly to her impulse to do or be something in this v 
whatever it might be, and he looked on the smart, eg* 
vanity of so many with a kindly, tolerant, almost parental 
eve. Poor little organisms growing on the tree of life 
they would burn out and fade soon enough. He did 
know the ballad of the roses of yesteryear, but if he had it 
would have appealed to him. He did not care to rifle 
them, willy-nilly; but should thnr temperaments or tastes 



incline them in his direction, they would not suffer vastly 
in their lives because of him. The fact was, the man 
essentially generous where women were concerned. 

"How nice of you!" he commented, smiling. "I like 
that." And then, seeing a note-book and pencil beside her, 
he asked, "What are you doing?" 

"lust sketch 

"Let me ee?" 

"It's nothing much," she replied, deprecatingly. "I 
don't draw very well." 

"Gifted girl!' he replied, picking it up. "Paints, draws, 
carves on wood, plays, sings, acts. ' 

" All rather badly, ' she sighed, turning her head languidly 
and looking away. In her sketch-book she had put all of 
her best drawings; there were sketches of nude women, 
dancers, torsos, bits of running figures, sad, heavy, sensuous 
heads and necks of sleeping girls, chins up, eyelids d 
studies of her brothers and sister, and ot her father and 

"Delightful!" exclaimed Cowperwood, keenly alive to a 
new treasure. Good heavens, where had been his eyes 
all this while? Here was a jewel lying at his doorstep 
innocent, untarnished a real These drawings sug- 

gested a fire of perception, smoldering and somber, v 
thrilled him. 

"These are beautiful to me, Stephanie," he said, simply, 
ingc, uncertain feeling of real affection creeping over 
him. The man's greatest love was for art. It was hypnotic 
to him. " Did you ever study art ?" he asked. 


"And you never studied acting?" 


She shook her head in a slow, sad, enticing way. The 
black hair concealing her ears moved him stranp- 

" I know the art of your stage work is real, and you have 
a natural art which I just seem to see. What has been the 
r with me, anyli 

"Oh no," she sighed. "It seems to me that I merely 
>lay at everything. I could cry sometimes when I think 
I go on." 

"At twenty 



1 11 1 TITAN 

" is old enough," she smiled, archly. 

ked, can; \v old arc \ 

ill be twenty-one in April," she answered. 
"Have your parents been very strut with you?" 
She shook her head dreamily. "No; what m.ikrs 

They haven't paid very much attention to me. 
They've always liked Lucille and Gilbert and Ormond 
best." Her voice had a plaintive, neglected ring. It 
the voice she used in her best scenes on the stage. 

i't they realize that you are very talented?" 
41 1 think perhaps my mother feels that I may have some 

ty. My father doesn't, I'm sure. Why?" 
She lifted those languorous, plaintive eyes. 
"Why, Stephanie, if you want to know, I think you're 
wonderful. 1 thought so the other night \slun ymi 
looking at those jades. It all came over me. You are an 
1\, ami I have been so busy I have scarcely seen 
it. Tell me one thing." 

She drew in a soft breath, filling her chest and expanding 
her bosom, while she looked at him from under her I 
hair. Her hands were crossed idly in her lap. Then she 
looked demurely down. 

"Look, Stephanie! Look up! I want to ask you some- 
thing. You have known something of me for over a year. 
Do you like me?" 

"I think you're very wonderful," she murmured. 
Is that all?" 

n't that much?" she smiled, shooting a dull, black- 
opal look in his direction. 

"You wore my bracelet to-day. Were you very glad 
to get 

Oh yes," she sighed, with aspirated breath, pretending 
a kind of suffocation. 

! low beautiful you really are!" he said, rising and look- 
ing down at hir. 
She shook her head. 




"Come, Stephanie! Stand by me and look at me. You 
are so tall and slender and graceful. You are like some- 
thing out of Asia." 

She sighed, turning in a sinuous way, as he slipped his 
arm about her. 

"I don't think we should, should we?" she asked, naively, 
after a moment, pulling away from him. 


" I think I'd better go, now, please." 



IT was during the earlier phases of his connection with 
Chicago street-railways that Cowperwood, ardently in- 
teresting himself in Stephanie PI atow, developed as serious 
a sex affair as any that had yet held him. At once, after a 
few secret interviews with her, he adopted his favorite ruse 
in such matters and established bachelor quarters in the 
down-town section as a convenient meeting-ground. Sev- 
eral conversations with Stephanie were not quite as illumi- 
nating as they might have been, for, wonderful as she was 
a kind of artistic godsend in this dull Western atmosphere 
she was also enigmatic and elusive, very. He learned 
speedily, in talking with her on several days when they met 
for lunch, <>f her dramatic ambitions, and of the seeming 
spiritual and artist u support she required from some one 
who would have faith in ner and inspire her by his or her 
confidence. He learned all about the Garrick Players, her 
home intimacies and friends, the growing quarrels in the 
dramatic organization. He asked her, as they sat in a 
favorite and inconspicuous resort of his finding, during one 
of those moments when blood and not intellect was ruling 
between them, whether she had ever 

"Once," she naively admitted. 

It was a great shock to Cowperwood. He had fancied 
her refreshingly innocent. But she explained it was all 
so accidental, so unintentional on her part, very. She de- 
scribed it all so gravely, soulfully, pathetically, with such 
a brooding, contemplative backward searching of the 
mind, that he was astonished and in a way touched. What 
a pity! It was Gardner Knowles who had done this, ^he 
admitted. But he was not very much to blame, either. 
It just happened. She had tried to protest, but Wasn't 



she angry? Yes, but then she was sorry to do anything to 
hurt Gardner Knowles. He was such a charming boy, and 
he had such a lovely mother and sister, and the like. 

Cowperwood was astonished. He had reached that 
point in life where the absence of primal innocence in a 
woman was not very significant; but in Stephanie, seeing 
that she was so utterly charming, it was almost too bad. 
IK thought what fools the Platows must be to tolerate 
this art atmosphere for Stephanie without keeping a sharp 
h over it. Nevertheless, he was inclined to believe 
from observation thus far that Stephanie might be hard to 
watch. She was ingrainedly irresponsible, apparently so 
artistic. illy nebulous, so non-self-protective. To go on and 
be friends with this scamp! And yet she protested that 
never after that had there been the le.isr thing between 
them. Cowperwood could sv ;>elieve it. She must 

be lying, ana yet he liked her so. The very romantic, in- 
consequential way in which she narrated all this staggered, 
amused, and even fascinated him. 

"But, Stephanie," he argued, curiouslv, "there must 
have been some aftermath to all this. What happened? 
What did you d 

"Nothing." She shook her head. 

He had to smile. 

"But oh, don't .ilk about itf she pleaded. "I 

don't want to. It hurts me. There was nothing more." 

She sighed, and Cowperwood meditated. The evil was 
now done, and the best that he could do, if he cared tor her 
at all and he did was to overlook it. He surveyed her 
oddly, wonderingly. What a charming soul she was, 
how! H n how brooding! She had art lots of 

it. Did he want to give her up? 

As he might have known, it was dangerous to trifle with 
PC of this kind, particularly once awakened to the sig- 
nificance of promiscuity, and unless mastered by some 
absorbing passion. Stephanie had had too much flattery 
and affection heaped upon her in the past two years to be 
easily absorbed. Nevertheless, for the time being, anyhow, 
she was fascinated by the significance of Cowperwood. 
is wonderful to have so fine, so powerful a man care 
for her. She conceived of him as a very great artist in 



his realm rather than as a business man, and he grasped this 
after a very little while and appreciated it. To his 
delight, she was even more beautiful physically than he 
had anticipated a smoldering, passionate girl who nu-t 
him with a fire which, though somber, quite rivaled his oun. 
She was different, too, in her languorous acceptance of all 
that he bestowed from am one he had ever known. She 
was as tactful as Rita Sohlberg more so but so preter- 

nt at times. 

phanie," he would exclaim, "do talk. What are 
thinking of? You dream like an African native." 
She merely sat and smiled in a dark way or sketched or 
modeled him. She was ;1\ penciling something, 

until moved by the fever of her blood, when she would sir 
and look at him or brood silently, eyes down. Then, when 
he would reach for her with seeking hands, she would sigh, 
"Oh ves, oh yes!" 
Those were delightful days with Stephanie. 

In the matter of younjj; MacDonald's request for fifty 
thousand dollars in securities, as well as the attitude of 
the other editors HVSSOJ >n, Ricketts, and so on 

who had proved subt! rwood conferred with 

Addison ami M 

"A likely lad. that." commented McKenty, succintly, 
when he heard ir. "He'll do better than his father in one 

He'll probably make more moi 
McKenty had seen old General MacDonald just once in 

'.itV, and liked him. 

"I should like to know what the General would think of 

that if he knew," commented Addison, who admired the old 

<>r greatly. "I'm afraid he wouldn't sleep very well." 

"There is just one thing," observed Cowperwood, 

thoughtfully. "This young man will certainly come into 

control of the Inquirer sometime. He looks to me like 

some one >uld not readily forget an injury." He 

d sardonically. So did McKcnty and Addi 
"Be that as it may," suggested the latter, "he isn't 

r yet." McKenty. who never revealed his true \ 
to my one but Cowperwood, waited until he had the latter 
alone to observe: 



"What can they do? Your request is a reasonable one. 
Why shouldn't the city give you the tunnel? It's no good 
to any one as it is. And the loop is no more than the other 
roads have now. I'm thinking it's the Chicago City Rail- 
way and that silk-stocking crowd in State Street or that 
gas crowd that's talking against you. I've heard them 
before. Give them what they want, and it's a fine moral 
cause. Give it to any one else, and there's something 
wrong with it. It's little attention I pay to them. We 
have the council. Let it pass the ordinances. It can't be 
ed that they don't do it willingly. The mayor is a 
sensible man. He'll sign them. Let young MacDonald talk 
if he wants to. If he says too much you can talk to his 
father. As for Hyssop, he's an old grandmother anyhow. 
I've never known him to be for a public improvement yet 
that was really good for Chicago unless Schryhart or Merrill 
or Arneel or some one else of that crowd wanted it. I know 
them of old. My advice is to go ahead and never mind 
them. To hell with them! Things will be sweet enough, 
once you are as powerful as they are. They'll get nothing 
in the future without paving for it. It's little enough 
they've ever done to further anything that I wanted." 

Cowperwood, how* nained cool and thoughtful. 

Should he pay young MacDonald? he asked himself. 
Addison knew of no influence that he could bring to bear. 
1- m.illy, after much thought, he decided to proceed as he 
had planned. Consequently, the reporters around the 
City Hall and the council-chamber, who were in touch with 
Alderman Thomas Dowling, McKenty's leader on the 
floor of council, and those who called occasionally quite 
rvmil arlv, in fact at the offices of the North Chicago 
Street Railway Company, Cowperwood's comfortable new 
offices in the North Side, were now given to understand 
that two ordinances one granting the free use of the La 
Salle Street tunnel for an unlimited period (practically a 
gift of it), and another granting a right of way in La Salle, 
Munroe, Dearborn, and Randolph streets for the proposed 
loop would be introduced in council very shortly. Cow- 
prrwood granted a very flowery interview, in which he ex- 
plained quite enthusiastically all that the North Chicago 
company was doing and proposed to do, and made clear 



what a splendid development ir would assure to the North 
Side and to the business center. 

At once Schryhart, Merrill, and some individuals con- 
nected with the Chicago West Dmsion Company, began 
to complain in the newspaper offices and at the clubs 
to Ricketts, Braxton, young MacDonald, ami the other 
editors. Envy of the pyrotechnic progress of the man 

.is much a factor in this as anything else. It did not 
make the slightest difference, as Cowperwood h.ul 

.ally pointed out, that every other corporation of any 
significance in Chicago had asked and received without 
money and without price. Somehow his career in con- 
nection with Chicago gas, his venturesome, if unsuco 

xago society, his self-acL unpledged 

idelphia record, rendered the sensitive cohorts ot 
ultra-conservative exceedingly fearful. In Schryh. 
Chroniclf appeared a news column which was headed, 
n drab of City Tunnel Proposed." It was a very 

ilent statement, and irritated Cowperwood grc. 
The Press (Mr. Haguenin's paper), on tin- other haiul. 

v-ordial to the idea of the loop, while appearing to be a 
little uncertain as to whether the tunnel should be granted 
without compensation or not. Editor Hyssop felt called 
upon to insist that something more than merely nominal 

sensation should be made for the tunnel, and that 
"riders" should be inserted in the loop ordinance making 
it incumbent upon the North I'hicaijo company to keep 
those thoroughfares in full repair and well lighted. The 
Inquirer ; under Mr. MacDonald, junior, and Mr. Du Bois, 
was in rumbling opposition. No free tunnels, it . 
no free ordinances for privileges in the down-town heart. 
It had nothing to say about Cowperwood personally. 
The Globf, Mr. Braxton's paper, was certain that no free 
rights to the tunnel should be givm, and that a much better 
for the loop could be found one larger and more 
serviceable to the public, one that might be made to in- 
clude State Street or Wabash Avenue, or both, where Mr. 
Merrill's store was located. nr, and one could see 

quite clearlv to what extent the int >f the public 

figured in the majority of these particular viewpoints. 
Cowperwood, individual, reliant, utterly indifferent to 

21 8 


opposition of any kind, was s< urn- what angered by the 
manner in which his overtures had been received, hut still 
felt that the best way out of his troubles was t follow 
MeKenty's advice and get power first. Once he had his 
cable -conduit down, his new cars running, the tunnel 
rebuilt, brilliantly lighted, and the bridge crush disposed 
of, the public would see what a vast change for the better 
had been made and would support him. Finally all things 
were in readiness and the ordinance jammed through. 
McKenty, being a little dubious of the outcome, haa a 
rocking-chair brought into the council-chamber itself during 
the hours when the ordinances were up for consideration. 
In this he sat, presumably as a curious spectator, actually 
as a master dictating the course of liquidation in hand. 
Neither Cowperwood nor any one else knew of MeKenty's 
n until too late to interfere with it. Addison and Videra, 
when they read about it assneeringly set forth in the news pol- 
umnsof the papers, lifted and then wrinkled their eyebr- 

"That looks like pretty rough work to me," commented 
Addison. "I thought Me Kent y had more tact. That's 
his early Irish training." 

Alexander Rambaud, who was an admirer and follower 
of Cowperwood's, wondered whether the papers were lying, 
wru-ther it really could be true that Cowperwood had a 
serious political compact with McKenry which would allow 
him to walk rough-shod over public opinion. Rambaud 
considered Cowperwood's proposition so sane and reason- 
able that he could not understand why there should be 
serious opposition, or why Cowperwood and McK 
ild have to resort to such methods. 

However, the streets requisite for the loop were granted. 
The tunnel was leased for nine hundred and ninety-nine 
s at the nominal sum of five thousand dollars per year. 
It was understood that the old bridges over State, Dear- 
born, and Clark streets should be put in repair or removed; 
but there was "a joker" inserted elsewhere which nullified 
this. Instantly there were stormy outbursts in the Chron- 
icle, Inquirer, and Globe; but Cowperwood, when he read 
them, merely smiled. "Let them grumble," he said to 
himself. " 1 put a very reasonable proposition before them. 
Why should they complain ? I'm doing more now than the 



Chicago City Railway. It's jealousy, that's all. If 
vhart or Merrill had asked for it, there would have 
been no complaint." 

McKmtv called at the offices of the Chicago Trust Com- 
pany to congratulate Cowperwood. " 1 he boys did as I 
thought they would," he said. "I had to be there, though, 
rd some one say that about ten of them intended 
to ditch us at the last mom- 

"Good work, good work!" replied Cowperwood, cheer- 
fully. "This row will all blow over. It would be tin- 
same whenever we asked. The air will clear up. We'll 
them such a fine service that they'll forget all about 
this, and be glad they gave us the tunn 

Just the same, the morning after the enabling ordinances 
had passed, there was much derogatory comment in in- 
fluential quarters. Mr. Norman Schryhart, who, through 
his publisher, had been fulminating defensively against 
Cowperwood, stared solemnly at Mr. Rickettswhen they met. 

"Well/* said the magnate, who imagined he foresaw a 
threatened attack on his Chicago City Street Railway pre- 
serves, "I see our friend Mr. Cowperwood has managed 
to get his own way with the council. I am morally cer- 
he uses money to get what he is after as freely as a 
fireman uses water. He s as slippery as an eel. I should 
be glad if we could establish that there is a community of 
interest between him and these politicians around ' 
Hall, or between him and Mr. Mckenty. I believe he has 
set out to dominate this city politically as well as financially, 
and he'll need constant watching. If public opinion can 
be aroused against him he may be dislodged in the course 
of time. Chicago may get too uncomfortable for him. 
I know Mr. McKentv personally, but he is not the kind 
of man I care to do business wit 

Mr. Schryhart's method of negotiating at City Hall was 
through certain reputable but somewhat slow-going law- 
yers who were in trie employ of the South Side company. 
They had never been able to reach Mr. McKenty at .ill. 
Ricketts echoed a hearty approval. "You're very right," 
he said, with owlish smugness, adjusting a waistcoat bur- 
ton had come loose, and smoothie his cuffs. "H 'i 
a prince of politicians. We'll have to look sharp if we ever 



trap him." Mr. Ricketts would have been glad to sell out 
to Mr. Cowperwood, if he had not been so heavily obligated 
to Mr. Schryh;irr. He had no especial affection for Cow- 
perwood, but he recognized in him a coming man. 

Yoiini; MacDonald, talking to Clifford Du Bois in the 
office of the Inquirer, and reflecting how little his pi 
telephone message had availed him, was in a waspish, 
me of mind. 

14 Well," he said, "it seems our friend Cowperwood hasn't 
taken our advice. He may make his mark, but the Inquire? 
isn't through with him by a long shot. He'll be wanting 
other things from the city in the fun. 

Clifford Du Bois regarded his acid young superior with a 
curious eye. He knew nothing of MacDonald's private 
telephone message to Cowperwood; but he knew how he 
himself would have dealt with the crafty financier had he 
been in MacDonald's position. 

"Yes, Cowperwood is shrewd," was his comi 
"Pritchard, our political man, says the ways of the City 
11. 11 are greased straight up to the mayor and McKenty, 
and that Cowperwood can have anything he wants at 
inn. Tom Dowling eats out of his hand, and you 
know what that means. Old General Van Sickle is wot 
for him in some way. Did you ever sec that old buzzard 
flying around if there wasn't something dead in the woods?" 

"He's a slick one," remarked MacDonald. " Hut as for 
Cowperwood, he can't get away with this sort of thing 
very long. He's going too fast. He wants too much." 

Mr. Du Bois smiled quite secretly. It amused him to 
see how Cowperwood had brushed MacDonald and his 
objections aside dispensed for the time being with the 
services of the Inauirtr. Du Bois confidently believed that 
if the old General had been at home he would have sup- 
ported the financier. 

Within eight months after seizing the La Salle Street tun- 
nel and gobbling four of the principal down-town streets 
for his loop, Cowperwood turned his eyes toward the com- 
pletion of the second part of the programme that of 

A'ashinpton Street tunnel ami the Chicago 
West Division Company, which was still drifting along 



under its old horse-car regime. It was the story of the 
North Side company all over again. Stockholders of a 
certain type the average are extremely nervous, sen- 
sitivr, fearsome. They are like that peculiar bivalve, the 
clam, which at the slightest sense of untoward pressure 
withdraws into its shell and ceases all activity. Thi 
tax department began by instituting proceedings against 
the West Division company, compelling them t disgorge 
various unpaid street-car taxes which hail hitherto been 
neglected. The city highway department 
was constantly jumping on them for neglect of street' 
repairs. The city water department, by some hocus-pocus, 
made it its business to discover that they had been stealing 
water. On the other hand were the smiling represents 

>wperwood, Kaffrath, Addison, Videra, and others, 
approaching one director or stockholder after another \\irh 

ning accounts of what a splendid day would set in for 
the Chicago West Division Company if only it would lease 

>ne per cent, of its holdings fifty-one per cerr 
twelve hundred and fifty shares, par value two hundred 

rs for the fascinating sum of six hundred dollars per 
share, and thirty per cent, interest on all stock not assumed. 
Who could resist? Starve and beat a dog on the one 
hand; wheedle, pet, and hold meat in front of it on the 
<>rh< r. :md it can soon be brought to perform. Cowper- 
wood knew this. His emissaries for good and evil 
tireless. In the end and it was not l.-m: in coming the 

rors and chief stockholders of the Chicago \ 

Company succumbed; and then, lol the sudden 
leasing by the Chicago West Division Company of all its 
property to the North Chicago Street Railway Company, 
lessee in turn of the Chicago City Passenger Railway, a line 
which Cowperwood had organized to take over the Wash- 
ington Street tunnel. How had he accomplished it ? I he- 
question was on the tip of every financial tongue. Who 
were the men or the organization providing the enormous 
sums necessary to pay six hundred dollars per share for 
six hundred and fifty shares of the twelve hundred and 

kloncing to the old West Division company, and 
thirtv per cent, per vearon all the remainder? Where was 
the money coming from to cable all these lines? It was 



simple enough if they had only thought. Cowperwood was 
merely capitalizing the future. 

Before the newspapers or the public could suitably pro- 
test, crowds of men were at work day and night in the 
business heart of the citv, their flaring torches and resound- 
ing hammers making a fitful bedlamic world of that region; 
tiny were laying the first great cable loop and repairing 
the La Salle Street tunnel. It was the same on the North 
and West Sides, where concrete conduits were being laid, 
new grip and trailer cars built, new car-barns erected, and 
large, snining power-houses put up. The city, so long 
used to the old bridge delays, the straw-strewn, stoveless 
horse-cars on their jumping rails, was agog to see how tine 
this new service would te. The La Salle Mrcet tunnel was 
soon aglow with white plaster and electric lights. The long 
streets and avenues of the North Side were threaded with 
concrete-lined conduits and heavy street-rails. The power- 

rs were completed and the system was started, even 
while the contracts for the changes on the West Side wi re 
being let. 

Schryhart and his associates were amazed at this swift- 
ness of action, this dizzy phantasmagoria of financial opera- 
It looked very much to the conserve ction 
interests of Chicago as if this young giant out of the East 
had it in mind to eat up the whole citv. The C'hicago 

r Company, which he, Addison, McKenty, and OT 
had organized to manipulate the principal phases of the 
local bond issues, and of which he was rumored to be in 
control, was in a flourishing condition. Apparently he 
couKl now write his check for millions, and yet he was not 

Iden, so far as the older and more conservative multi- 
millionaires of Chicago were concerned, to any one of them. 
The worst of it was that this Cowperwood an upstart, a 
jail-bird, a stranger whom they had done tlnir best to 
suppress financially and ostracize socially, had now become 
an attractive, even a sparkling figure in the eyes of the 
Chicago public. His views and opinions on almost any 
topic were freely quoted; the newspapers, even the most 
antagonistic, dicl not dare to neglect nim. Their owners 
were now fully alive to the fact that a new financial rival 
had appeared who was worthy of their steel. 



IT was interesting to note how, able though he was, and 
bound up with this vast street-railway enterprise which 
was beginning to affect several thousand men, his mind 
o.ulil rirul intense relief and satisfaction in the presence 
and actions of Stephanie Platow. It is not too much to say 
that in her, perhaps, he found revivified the spirit and per- 
sonality of Rita Sohlberg. Rita, however, had not con- 
templated disloyalty it nad never occurred to her to be 
faithless to Cowperwopd so long as he was fond of her any 
more than for a long time it had been possible for her, even 
after all his philanderings, to be faithless to Sohlberg. 
Stephanie, on the other hand, had the strange feeling that 
affection was not necessarily identified with physical loyalty, 
and that she could be fond of Cowperwood and still deceive 
him a fact which was based on Her lack as yet of a true 
enthusiasm for him. She loved him and she didn't. Her 
attitude was not necessarily identified with her heavy, 
lizardish animality, though that had something to do with 
it; but rather with a vague, kindly generosity which per- 
mitted her to feel that it was hard to break with Gardner 
Knowles and Lane Cross after they had been so nice to 
her. Gardner Knowles had sung her praises here, there, 
and everywhere, and was attempting to spread her fame 
among the legitimate theatrical enterprises which came to 
the city in order that she might be taken up and made into 
nificant figure. Lane Cross was wildlv fond of her in 
an inadequate way which made it hard to break with him, 
and yet certain that she would eventually. There was still 
another man a youne playwright and poet by the name 
of Forbes Gurney tall, fair, passionatt who had n< 
arrived on the scene and was courting her, or, rather, being 



courted by her at odd moments, for her time was her own. 
In her artistically errant way she had refused to go to 
school like her sister, and was idling about, developing, as 
she phrased it, her artistic possibilities. 

Cowperwood, as was natural, heard much of her stage 
life. At first he took all this palaver with a grain of 
salt, the babbling of an ardent nature interested in the 
flighty romance of the studio world. By degrees, how- 
ever, he became curious as to the freedom of her actions, 
the ease with which she drifted from olace to place 
Lane Cross's studio; Bliss Bridge's bachelor rooms, where 
he appeared always to be receiving his theatrical friends 
of the Garrick Players; Mr. Gardner Knowles's home on 
the near North Side, where he was frequently entertaining 
a party after the theater. It seemed to Cowperwood, to 
say the least, that Stephanie was leading a rather free and 
inconsequential existence, and yet it reflected her exactly 
the color of her soul. But he began to doubt and wonder. 

"Where were you, Stephanie, yesterday?" he would ask, 
when they met for lunch, or in the evenings early, or 
when she called at his new offices on the North Side, as 
she sometimes did to walk or drive with him. 

"Oh, yesterday morning I was at Lane Cross's studio 
trying on some of his Indian shawls and veils. He has such 
a lot of those things some of the loveliest oranges and 
blues. You just ought to see me in them. I wish you 

" Alone r 

"For a while. I thought Ethel Tuckerman and Bliss 
Bridge would be there, but they didn't come until later. 
Lane Cross is such a dear. He's sort of silly at times, but 
I like him. His portraits are so bizarre." 

She went off into a description of his pretentious but in- 
significant art. 

Cowperwood marveled, not at Lane Cross's art nor his 
shawls, but at this world in which Stephanie moved. He 
could not quite make her out. He had never been able 
to make her explain satisfactorily that first single relation- 
ship with Gardner Knowles, which she declared had ended 
so abruptly. Since then he had doubted, as was his nature; 
but this girl was so sweet, childish, irreconcilable with her- 
8 225 


self, like a wandering breath of air, or a pale-colored flower, 
that he scarcely knew what to think. The artistically in- 
clined are not prone to quarrel with an enticing sheaf of 
flowers. She was heavenly to him, coming in, as she did 
at times when he was alone, with bland eyes and yielding 
herself in a kind of summery ecstasy. She had al 
something ai > tell of storms, winds, dust, clouds, 

smoke forms, the outline of buildings, the lake, the stage. 
She would cuddle in his arms and quote long section! from 
"Romeo and Juliet," "Paolo and Francesca," "The Ring 
and the Book," Keats's "Eve of St. Apies." He hated 
to quarrel with her, because she was like a wild rose or 
some art form in nature. Her sketch-book was always 
full of new things. Her muff, or the light silk shawl she 
in summer, sometimes concealed a modeled figure of 
some kind which she would produce with a look like that 
of a doubting child, and if he wanted it, if he liked it, 
he could have it. Cowperwood meditated deeply, lie 
scarcely knew what to think. 

1 he constant atmosphere of suspicion and doubt in 
v.huh he was compelled to remain, came by degrees to 
distress and anger him. While she was with him she was 
i^h, but when she was away she was ardently 
cheerful and happy. Unlike the station he had occupied 
in so many previous affairs, he found himself, after the 
first little while, asking her whether she loved him instead 
of submitting to the same question from her. 

He thoimht that with his means, his position, his 
future possibilities he had the power to bind almost any 
woman once drawn to his personality; but Stephanie was 
too young and too poetic to be greatly impaired by wealth 
and fame, and she was not yet sufficiently gripped by the 
lure of him. She loved him in her strange way; but she 
interested also by the latest arrival, Forbes Gurney. 
This tall, melancholy youth, with brown eyes and oale- 
brpwn hair, was very poor. He hailed from southern 
Minnesota, and what between a penchant for journalism, 
verse-writing, and some dramatic work, was somewhat un- 
decided as to his future. His present occupation was that 
of an instalment collector for a furniture company, which 
set him free, as a rule, at three o'clock in the afternoon. He 



m a mooning way, to identify himself with the 
I'hioago newspaper world, and was a discovery of Gardner 

Stephanie had seen him about the rooms of the Garrick 

c rs. She had looked at his longish face with its 

aureole of, crinkly hair, his fine wide mouth, deep-set 

eyes, and good nose, and had been touched by an atm< s- 

nhere of wistfulness, or, let us say, life-hunger. Gardner 

Knowles brought a poem of his once, which he had bor- 

J from him, and read it to the company, Stephanie, 

Ethel Tuckerman, Lane Cross, and Irma Ottley assembled. 

'listen to this," Knowles had suddenly exclaimed, 

taking it out of his pock 

It concerned a garden of the moon with the fragrance 
of pale blossoms, a mystic pool, some ancient figures of 
i a quavered Lucidian tune. 

" With eerie flute and rhythmic thuim 
Of muted strings and beaten drum." 

Stephanie Platow had sat silent, caught by a quality that 
was akin to her own. She asked to see it, and read it in 

"I think it's charming," she said. 

Thereafter she hovered in the vicinity of Forbes Gumey. 
Why, she could scarcely say. It was not coquetry. She 
just drew near, talked to him of stage work and her j 
and her ambitions. She sketched him as she had Cov. 
wood and others, and one day Cowperwood found three 
studies of Forbes Gurney in her note-book idyllicly done, 
a note of romantic feeling about them. 

"Who is this?" he asked. 

' '( >h, he's a young poet who comes up to the Players 
Forbes Gurney. He's so charming; ne's so pale and 

Cowperwood contemplated the sketches curiously. His 
eyes clouded. 

"Another one of Stephanie's adherents," he commented, 
dy. "It's a long procession I've joined. Gardner 
Knowles, Lane Cross, Bliss Bridge, Forbes Gurney." 

Stephanie merely pouted moodily. 



"How you talk! Bliss Bridge, Gardner Knowles! I 
admit I lite them all, but that's all I do do. They're just 
sweet and dear. You'd like Lane Cross yourself; he's such 
a foolish old Polly. As for Forbes Gurney, he just drifts 
up there once in a while as one of the crowd. I scarcely 
know him." 

"Exactly," said Cowperwood, dolefully; "but you 
sketch him." 

lor some reason Cowperwood did not believe this. Back 
in his brain he did not believe Stephanie at all, he did not 
trust her. Yet he was intensely fond of her the m<>rt- 
crhaps, because of tf 

"Tell me truly, Stephanie," he said to her one day, 
urgently, and yet very diplomatically. "I don't care at 
*!!. so far as your past is concerned. You and I are - 
rnnueh to reach a perfect understanding. But you didn't 
nil me the whole truth about you and Knowles, did you? 
Tell me truly now. I sha'n't mind. I can understand 
well enough how it could have happened. It doesn't make 
the least bit of difference to me, really." 

Stephanie was off her guard for once, in no truly fern ing 
mood. She was troubled at times about her various rela- 
. anxious to put herself straight \sith Cowperwood or 
uith any one whom she truly liked. Compared to Cowper- 
wood and his affairs, Cross and Knowles were trivial, and 
yet Knowles was interesting to her. Compared to Cowper- 
wood, Forbes Gurney was a stripling beggar, and yet Gur- 
ney had what Cowperwood did not have a sad, poetic 
lure. He awakened her sympathies. He was such a 
lonely boy. Cowperwood was so strong, brilliant, magnetic. 

Perhaps it was with some idea of clearing up her moral 
status generally that she finally said : "Well, I didn't tell you 
the exact truth about it, either. I was a little ashamed t<>.'' 

At the close of her confession, which involved only 
vies, and was incomplete at that, Cowperwood burned 
with a kind of angry resentment. Why tnfle with a lying 
prostitute? That she was an inconsequential free lover at 
twenty-one was quite plain. And yet there was something 
so strangely large about the girl, so magnetic, and sh< 
so beautiful after her kind, that he could not think of 
giving her up. She reminded him of himself. 



"Well, Stephanie," he said, trampling under foot an 
impulse to insult or rebuke and dismiss her, "you are 
strange. Why didn't you tell me this before? I have 
asked and asked. Do you really mean to say that you care 
for me at all 

"How can you ask that?" she demanded, reproachfully, 
ft -t ling that she had been rather foolish in confessing. Per- 
haps she would lose him now, and she did not want to do 
that. Because his eyes blazed with a jealous hardness 
she burst into tears. "Oh, I wish I had never told you! 
There is nothing to tell, anyhow. I never wanted to." 

Cowperwood was nonplussed. He knew human nature 
pretty well, and woman nature; his common sense told him 
that this girl was not to be trusted, and yet he was d nun 
to her. Perhaps she was not lying, and these tears were real. 

"And you positively assure me that this was all that 
tin re wasn't any one else before, and no one since?" 

Stephanie dried her eyes. They were in his private 
rooms in Randolph Street, the bachelor rooms he had fitted 
for himself as a changing place for various affaire. 

"I don't believe re for me at all," she observed, 

dolefully, reproachfully. " I don't believe you understand 
me. I don't think you believe me. When I tell you how 
things are you don't understand. I don't lie. I can't. If 
you are so doubting now, perhaps you had better not see 
me any more. I want to be frank with you, but if you 

won't let m 

She paused heavily, gloomily, very sorrowfully, and Cow- 
ood surveyed her with a kind of yearning. What an 
unreasoning pull she had for him! He did not believe her, 
and vet he could not let her go. 

"Oh, I don't know what to think," he commented, morose- 

" I certainly don't want to quarrel with you, Stephanie, 

telling me the truth. Please don't deceive me. You 

are a remarkable girl. I can do so much for you if you 

will let me. You ought to see that." 

"But I'm not deceiving you," she repeated, wearily. 
"I should think you could see." 

"I believe you," he went on, trying to deceive himself 
against his better judgment. "But you lead such a free, 
nventional ! 



"Ah," thought Stephanie, "perhaps I talk too mu 

" 1 am very fond of you. You appeal to me so miuh. 

I love you, really. Don't deceive me. Don't run with 
all these silly simpletons. 1 hrv are really not worthy of 
I I be able to get a divorce one of these days, 
and then I would be plad to marry you." 

"But I'm not running with them in the sense that you 
think. They're not anything to me beyond mere enter- 
tainment. Oh, I like them, of course. Lane Cross is a 
dear in his way, and so is Gardner Knowles. They have all 
been nice to me." 

Cowperwood's gorge rose at her calling Lane Cross dear, 
rnsed him, .. he held his peace. 

"Do give me your word that there will never be ;i 
thing between you and any of these men so long as you are 
ily with me?" he almost pleaded a strange role for 
him. "I don't care to share you with any one else. I 
won't. I don't mind what you have done in the past, but 
I don't want you to be unfaithful in the future." 

"What a question! Of course I won't. But if you d< 
believe me oh, dear " 

Stephanie sighed painfully, and Cowperwood's face 
clouded with angry though well-conccalea suspicion and 

;'Well, I'll tell you, Stephanie, I believe you now. I'm 
otng to take your word. But if you do deceive me, and 

should find it our. I \sill quit you the same day. I J 
care to share you with any one else. What I can't under- 
stand, if you care for me, is how you can take so much 
interest in all these affairs? It certainly isn't devotion 
to your art that's impelling yon, 

' Oh, are you going to go on quarreling with me?" asked 
Stephanie, naively. "Won't you believe me when I say 
that I love you? Perhaps But here her histrionic 
ability came to her aid, and she sobbed violently. 

Cowperwood took her in his arms. "Never mind," he 
soothed. " I do believe you. I do think you care for me. 
Only I wish you weren t such a butterfly temperan 

So this particular lesion for the time being was healed. 




A[ the same time the thought of readjusting her relations 
so that they would avoid disloyalty to Cowperwood was 
never further from Stephanie's mind. Let no one quarrel 
with Stephanie Platow. She was an unstable chemical 
compound, artistic to her finger-tips, not understood or 
properly guarded by her family. Her interest in Cowper- 
wood, his force and ability, was intense. So was her in- 
terest in Forbes Gurncy the atmosphere of poetry that 
enveloped him. She studied him curiously on the various 
occasions when they met, and, finding him bashful and re- 
cessive, set out to lure him. She felt that he was lonely 
and depressed and poor, and her womanly capacity for 
sympathy naturally oade her be tender. 

Her end was easily achieved. One night, when they 
were all out in Bliss Bridge's single-sticker a fast- 
s.i i ling saucer Stephanie and Forbes Gurney sat forward 
of the mast looking at the silver moon track which was di- 
rectly ahead. The rest were in the cockpit "cutting up" 

1. niching and sinpinp. It was very plain to all that 
Stephanie was bt interested in Forbes Gurney; and 

since he was charming and she wilful, nothing was done to 
interfere with them, except to throw an occasional jest 
their way. Gurney, new to love and romance, sea 
knew how to take his good fortune, how to begin. He 
told Stephanie of his home life in the wheat-fields of the 
Northwest, how his family had moved from Ohio when h< 
was three, and how difficult were the labors he had al 
undergone. He had stopped in his plowing many a day 
to stand under a tree and write a poem such as it was or 
to watch the birds or to wish he could go to college or to 
Chicago. She looked at him with dreamy eyes, her dark 



skin turned a copper bronze in the moonlight, her black 
hair irradiated with a strange, luminous grayish blue. 
Forbes Gurney, alive to beauty in all its t">rms, ventured 
finally to touch her hand she of Kimwles, Cross, and 
Cowperwood and she thrilled from head to toe. This 
boy was so sweet. His curly brown hair gave him a kind 
of Greek innocence and aspect. She did not move, but 
waited, hoping he would do more. 

"I wish I might talk to you as I feel," he finally said, 
hoarsely, a eaten in his throat. 

She laid one hand on his. 

"You dear!" she said. 

He realized now that he might. A great ecstasy fell upon 
him. He smoothed her hand, then slipped his arm about 
her waist, then ventured to kiss the dark cheek turned 
dreamily from him. Artfully her head sunk to his shouldt r, 
and he murmured wild nothings how divine she was, how 
artistic, how wonderful! With her view of things it could 
only end one way. She maneuvered him into calling on 
her at her home, into studying her books and plays on the 
top-floor sitting-room, into hearing her sing. Once fully 
in his arms, the rest was easy by suggestion. He learned 
she was no longer innocent, and then 

In the mean time Cowperwood mingled his speculations 
concerning large power-houses, immense reciprocating en- 
uiru -s, the problem of a wage scale for his now two thousand 
employees, some of whom were threatening to strike, r he- 
problem of securing, bonding, and equipping the La Salle 
Street tunnel and a down-town loop in La Salle, Munroe, 
Dearborn, and Randolph streets, with mental inquiries and 
pictures as to what possibly Stephanie Platow might be 
doing. He could only make appointments with her from 
time to time. He did not fail to note that, after he began 
to make use of information she let drop as to her where- 
abouts from day to day and her free companionship, he 
heard less of Gardner Rnowles, Lane Cross, .md Forbes 
Gurney, and more of Georgia Timberlake and Ethel Tucker- 
man. Why this sudden reticence? On one occasion she 
did say of Forbes Gurney "that he was having such a 
hard time, and that his clothes weren't as nice as they 
should be, poor dear!" Stephanie herself, owing to gifts 



made to her by Cowperwood, was resplendent these days. 
She took just enough to complete her wardrobe according 
to her taste. 

"Why not send him to me?*' Cowperwood asked. "I 
might find something to do for him." He would have been 
perfectly willing to put him in some position where he 
could keep track of his time. However, Mr. Gurney never 
sought him for a position, and Stephanie ceased to speak 
of his poverty. A gift of two hundred dollars, which 
Cowperwood made her in June, was followed by an ac- 
cidental meeting with her and Gurney in Washington 
Street. Mr. Gurney, pale and pleasant, was very well 
dressed indeed. He wore a pin which Cowperwood knew 
had once belonged to Stephanie. She was in no way con- 
fused. Finally Stephanie let it out that Lane Cross, who 
had gone to New Hampshire for the summer, had left his 
studio in her charge. Cowperwood decided to have this 
studio watched. 

There was in Cowperwood's employ at this time a 
young newspaper man, an ambitious spark aged twenty- 
six, by the name of Francis Kennedy. He had written 
a very intelligent article for the Sunday Inquirer, describ- 
ing Cowperwood and his plans, and pointing out what 
a remarkable man he was. This pleased Cowperwood. 
When Kennedy called one day, announcing smartly that he 
was anxious to get out of reportorial work, and inquiring 
whether he couldn't find something to do in the street- 
railway world, Cowperwood saw in him a possibly useful 

"I'll try you out as secretary for a while," he said, pleas- 
antly. "There are a few special things I want done. If 
you succeed in those, I may find something else for you 

Kennedy had been working for him only a little while 
when he said to him one day: "Francis, did you ever hear 
of a young man by the name of Forbes Gurney in the 
newspaper world ?" 

They were in Cowperwood's private office. 

"No, sir," replied Francis, briskly. 

"You have heard of an organization called the Garrick 
Players, haven't you?" 



V,-s. sir." 

"Well, Francis, do you suppose you could undertake a 
little piece of detectivt work for me, and handle it in- 
telligently and quietly?" 

* i think so," said Francis, who was the pink of perfec- 
tion this morning in a brown suit, garnet tie, and sard 
sleeve-links. His shoes were immaculately polished, and 
amp, healthy face glistened. 

"I'll tell you what I \s:mt you to do. There is a young 
actress, or amateur actress, by the'.name of Stephanie Pjatow, 
who frequents the studio of an artist named Cross in the 
New Arts Building. She may even occupy it in his absence 
I don't know. I want you to find out for me what the 
n l.itions of Mr. Gumey and this woman are. I have cer- 
tain business reasons for wanting to know." 

Young Kennedy was all attention. 

"You couldn't tell me where I could find out anything 
about this Mr. Gurney to begin with, could you?" he 

" I think he is a friend of a critic here by the name of 
Gardner Kn\vles. .You might ask him. I need not say 
that you must never mint ion me." 

"Oh, I understand that thoroughly, Mr. Cowperwood." 
:nu K< nncdy departed, meditating. How was he to 
do this? With true journalistic skill he first sought other 
newspaper men, from whom he learned a bit from one 
and a scrap from another of the character of the Garrick 
Players, and of the women who belonged to it. He pre- 
tended to be writing a one-act play, which he hoped to have 

He then visited Lane Cross's studio, posing as a news- 
paper interviewer. Mr. Cross was out of town, so the 
elevator man said. His studio was closed. 

Mr. Kennedy meditated on this fact for a moment. 

" Does any one use his studio during the summer months ?" 
he asked. 

"I believe there is a young woman who comes here 

"You don't happen to know who it is : " 

"Yes, I do. Her name is Platow. What do you want 
to know for?" 



"Looky here," exclaimed Kennedy, surveying the rather 
shabby attendant with a cordial and persuasive eye, "do 
you want to make some money five or ten dollars, and 
uithout any trouble to you?" 

The elevator man, whose wages were exactly eight dol- 
lars a week, pricked up his t. 

" I want to know who comes here with this Miss Platow, 
when they come all about it. I'll make it fifteen dollars 
if I find out what I want, and I'll give you five right now." 

The elevator factotum had just sixty-five cents in his 
pocket at the time. He looked at Kennedy with some un- 
certainty and much desire. 

"Well, what can I do?" he repeated. " I'm not here after 
six. The janitor runs this elevator from six to twelve." 

"There isn't a room vacant anywhere near this one, is 
there?" Kennedy asked, speculatively. 

The factotum thought. "Yes, there is. One just across 
thi- hall." 

"What time does she come here as a rule?" 

"I don't know anything about nights. In the day she 
sometimes comes mornings, sometimes in the afternoon." 

"Anybody with herr 

"Sometimes a man, sometimes a girl or two. I haven't 
really paid much attention to her, to tell you the truth." 

Kennedy walked away whistling. 

From this day on Mr. Kennedy became a watcher over 
very unconventional atmosphere. He was in and out, 
principally observing the comings and goings of Mr. 
Gurney. He found what he naturally suspected, that 
Mr. Gurney and Stephanie spent hours here at peculiar 
times after a company of friends had jollified, for instance, 
and all had left, including Gurney, when the latter would 
quietly return, with Stephanie sometimes, if she had left 
with the others, alone it she had remained behind. The 
visits were of varying duration, and Kennedy, to be abso- 
lutely accurate, kept days, dates, the duration of the hours, 
which he left noted in a sealed envelope for Cowperwood 
in the morning. Cowperwood was enraged, but so great 
was his interest in Stephanie that he was not prepared 
to act. He wanted to see to what extent her duplicity 
would go. 



The novelty of this atmosphere and its effect on him was 
^hing. Although his mind was vigorously employed 
during the day, nevertheless his thoughts kept returning 
Where was she? What was she doing? The 
hland way in which she could lie reminded him of himself. 
To think that she should prefer any one else to him, es- 
pecially at this time when he was shining as a great 
structive factor in the city, was too much. It smacked of 
age, his ultimate displacement by youth. It nit and hurt. 
N morning, after a peculiarly exasperating night of 
thought concerning her, fie said to young Kennedy 
have a suggestion for you. I wish you would grt this 
D you are working with down there to get you 
a duplicate key to this studio, and see if there is a bolt on 
the inside. Let me know when you do. Bring me the 
key. The next time she is there of an evening with Mr. 
Gurney step out and telephone me." 

The climax came one night several weeks after this dis- 
couraging investigation began. There was a heavy yellow 
moon in the sky, and a warm, sweet summer wind was 
blowing. Stephanie had called on Cowperwood at his 
office about four to say that instead of staying down-town 
with him, as they had casually planned, she was going to 
her home on the West Side to attend a garden-catty of 
some kind at Georgia Timberlakc's. Cowperwood looked 
at her with for him a morbid eye. He was ail cheer, 
geniality, pleasant badinage; but he was thinking all the 
while what a shameless enigma she was, how well she 
played her part, what a fool she must take him to be. He 
gave her youth, her passion, her attractiveness, her natural 
promiscuity of soul due credit; but he could not forgive her 
tor not loving him perfectly, as had so many others. She 
had on a summery black-and-white frock and a fetching 
brown Leghorn hat, which, with a rich-red poppy orna- 
menting a flare over her left ear and a peculiar niching of 
white-and-black silk about the crown, made her seem 
strangely young, debonair, a study in Hebraic and American 
< i n L^I n s. 

^Going to have a nice time, are you?" he asked, genially, 
politically, eying her in his enigmatic and inscrutable way. 

Going to shine among that charming company you keep? 



I suppose all the standbys will be there Bliss Bridge, Mr. 
Knmvk-s, Mr. Cross dancing attendance on you?" 

He failed to mention Mr. Gurney. 

Stephanie nodded cheerfully. She seemed in an inno- 
cent outing mood. 

Cowperwood smiled, thinking how one of these days 
very shrr!v, perhaps he was certain to take a signal re- 
venge. He would catch her in a lie, in a compromising 
position somewhere in this studio, perhaps and dismiss her 
with contempt. In an elder day, if they had lived in Tur- 
key, he would have had her strangled, sewn in a sack, and 
thrown into the Bosporus. As it was, he could only dismiss 
her. He smiled ana smiled, smoothing her hand. "Have 
a good time," he called, as she left. Later, at his own 
home it was nearly midnight Mr. Kennedy called 
him up. 

Mr. Cowperwood 

' Yes." 

"You know the studio in the New Arts Building?" 

"It is occupied now." 

Cowperwood called a servant to bring him his runabout. 
He had had a down-town locksmith make a round key- 
stem with a bored clutch at the end of it a hollow \vlm h 
would fit over the end of such a key as he had to the studio 
and turn it easily from the outside. He felt in his pocket 
for it, jumped in his runabout, and hurried away. When 
he reached the New Arts Building he found Kennedy in the 
hall and dismissed him. "Thanks," he observed, brusquely. 
" I will take care of this." 

He hurried up the stairs, avoiding the elevator, to the 
vacant room opposite, and thence reconnoitered the studio 
door. It was as Kennedy had reported. Stephanie was 
there, and with Gumey. The pale poet had been brought 
there to furnish her an evening of delight. Because of the 
stillness of the building at this hour he could hear their 
muffled voices speaking alternately, and once Stephanie sing- 
ing the refrain of a song. He was angry and yet grateful th.r 
she had, in her genial way, taken the trouble to call and 
1C him that she was going to a summer lawn-party 
and dance. He smiled grimly, sarcastically, as he thought 



of her surprise. Softly he extracted the clutch-key and 
inserted it, covering the end of the key on the inside and 
turning it. It gave solidly without s<uiml. He next tried 
tht knob and turned it, feeling the door spring slightly as 
he did so. Then inaudibly, because of a gurgled laugh 
with whuh he was thoroughly familiar, he opened it 
stepped in. 

At his rough, firm cough tney sprang up Gurney to a 
hiding position behind a curtain, Stephanie to one ot 
cealment behind draperies on the couch. She could not 
speak, and could scarcely believe that her eyes did not 
deceive her. Gurney, masculine and defiant, but by no 
means well composed, demanded: "\\'h> are you: 
>u want here?" Cowperwood replied very simply and 
smilingly: "Not very much. Perhaps Miss Platow tin re 
will tell you." He nodded in her directi- 

Stephanie, fixed by his cold, examining eye, shrank 
nervously, ignoring Gurney entire! v. 1 he latter perceived 
on the instant that he had a previous h.uson to deal with 
an angry and outraged lover and he was not prepared to 
act either wisely or wdl. 

"Mr. Gurney," said Cowperwood, complacently, after 
staring at Stephanie grimly and scorching her with his 
.1 have no concern with you, and do not propose 
to do anything to disturb you or Miss Platow after a very 
few moments. I am not here without reason. Tim young 
woman has been steadily deceiving me. She has lied to 
me frequently, and pretended an innocence which I did 
not believe. To-night she told me she was to be at a law n- 
party on the West Side. She has been my mistres 
months. I have given her money, jewelry, whatever she 

-rd. Those jade ear-rings, by the way, are one of my 

He nodded cheerfully in Stephanie's direction. I 

nave come here simply to prove to her that she cannot lie 

to me any more. Heretofore, every time I have ace 
her of things like this she has cried and lied. I do not 
know how much you know of her, or how fond you an of 
her. I merely wish her, not you, to know* and he 
turned and stared at Stephanie "that the day of her 
lying to me is over." 

During this very peculiar harangue Stephanie, who, 



nervous, fearful, fixed, and yet beautiful, remained curled 
up in the comer of the suggestive oriental divan, had been 
gazing at Cowperwood in a way uhich plainly attested, 
trifle as she might with others, that she was nevertheless 
fond of him intensely so. His strong, solid figure, con- 
fronting her so ruthlessly, gripped her imagination, of 
which she had a world. She had managed to conceal her 
body in part, but her brown arms and shoulders, her bosom, 
trim knees, and feet were exposed in part. Her black hair 
and naive face were now heavy, distressed, sad. She was 
frightened really, for Cowperwood at bottom had always 
overawed her a strange, terrible, fascinating man. Now 
she sat and looked, seeking still to lure him by the pathetic 
cast of her face and soul, while Cowperwood, scornful of 
her, and almost openly contemptuous of her lover, and his 
possible opposition, merely stood smiling before them. It 
came over her very swiftly now just what it was she was 
losing a grim, wonderful man. Beside him Gurney, the 
pale poet, was rather thin a mere breath of romance, 
ohe wanted to say something, to make a plea; but it 
so plain Cowperwood would have none of it, and, besides, 
here was Gurney. Her throat clogged, her eyes filled, even 
here, and a mystical bog-fire state of emotion succeeded 
the primary one of opposition. Cowperwood knew the 
look wt II. It gave him the only sense of triumph he had. 

"Stephanie," he remarked, "l have just one word to say 
to you now. We will not meet any more, of course. You 
are a good actress. Stick to your profession. You may 
shine in it if you do not merge it too completely with your 
loves. As for being a free lover, it isn't incompatible with 
what you are, perhaps, but it isn't socially advisable for 
you. Good night." 

He turned and walked quickly put. 

"Oh, Frank," called Stephanie, in a strange, magnetized, 
despairing way, even in the face of her astonished lover. 
Gurney stared with his mouth open. 

Cowperwood paid no heed. Out he went through the 
dark hall and down the stairs. For once the lure of a 
beautiful, enigmatic, immoral, and promiscuous woman 
poison rtnwrr though she was was haunting him. 

"D her!" he exclaimed. "D the little beast, any- 



how! The ! The 1" He used terms so hard, 

so vile, so sad, all because he knew for once what it was to 
love and lose to want ardently in his way and not to 
have now or ever after. He was determined that his 
path and that of Stephanie Platow should never be allowed 
to cross again. 



IT chanced that shortly before this liaison was broken 
off, some troubling information was quite innocently 
conveyed to Aileen by Stephanie Platow's own mother. 
One day Mrs. Platow, in calling on Mrs. Cowperwood, 
commented on the fact that Stephanie was gradually 
improving in her art, that the Garrick Players had experi- 
enced a great deal of trouble, and that Stephanie was short- 
ly to appear in a new role something Chinese. 

"That was such a charming set of jade you gave her," 
she volunteered, genially. "I only saw it the other day 
for the first time. She never told me about it before. 
She prizes it so very highly, that I feel as though I ought 
to thank you myself." 

Aileen opened ner eyes. "Jade!" she observed, curious- 
ly. "Why, I don't remember." Recalling Cowperwood's 
proclivities on the instant, she was suspicious, distraught. 
Her face showed her perplexity. 

"Why, yes," replied Mrs. Platow, Aileen's show of sur- 
prise troubling her. "The ear-rings and necklet, you 
know. She said you gave them to her." 

"To be sure," answered Aileen, catching herself as by a 
hair. "I do recall it now. But it was Frank who really 
gave them. I hope she likes them." 

She smiled sweetly. 

"She thinks they're beautiful, and they do become her," 
continued Mrs. Platow, pleasantly, understanding it all, 
as she fancied. The truth was that Stephanie, having for- 
gotten, had left her make-up box open one day at home, 
and her mother, rummaging in her room for something, 
had discovered them and genially confronted her with 
them, for she knew the value of jade. Nonplussed for the 



moment, Stephanie had lost her mental, though not her 
outward, composure and referred them back casually to 
an evening at the Cowperwood home when Aileen had been 
present and the gauds had been genially forced upon her. 

Unfortunately for Aileen, the matter was not to be 
allowed to rest just so, for going one afternoon to a 
reception given by Rhees Grier, a young sculptor of 
social proclivities, who had been introduced to her by 
Taylor Lord, she was given a taste of what it means to 
be a neglected wife from a public point of view. As 
she entered on this occasion she happened to overhear 
two women talking in a corner behind a screen erected to 
conceal wraps. "Oh, here comes Mrs. Cowperwood," 
said one. "She's the street-railway magnate's wife. Last 
winter and spring he was running with that Platow girl 
of the Garrick Players, you know." 

The other nodded, studying Aileen's splendiferous green- 
velvet gown with envy. 

"I wonder if she's faithful to him?" she queried, while 
Aileen strained to hear. "She looks daring enough." 

Aileen managed to catch a glimpse of her observers later, 
when they were not looking, and her face showed her 
mingled resentment and feeling; but it did no good. The 
wretched gossipers had wounded her in the keenest way. 
She was hurt, angry, nonplussed. To think that Cowper- 
wood by his variability should expose her to such gossip 
as this! 

One day not so long after her conversation with Mrs. 
Platow, Aileen happened to be standing outside the door 
of her own boudoir, the landing of which commanded the 
lower hall, and there overheard two of her servants dis- 
cussing the Cowperwood menage in particular and Chicago 
life in general. One was a tall, angular girl of perhaps 
twenty-seven or eight, a chambermaid, the other a short, 
stout woman of forty who held the position of assistant 
housekeeper. They were pretending to dust, though gos- 
sip conducted in a whisper was the matter for which they 
were foregathered. The tall girl had recently been em- 
ployed in the family of Aymar Cochrane, the former presi- 
dent of the Chicago West Division Railway, and now a 
director of the new West Chicago Street Railway Company. 



"And I was that surprised," Aileen heard this girl say- 
ing, "to think I should be coming here. I cud scarcely 
believe me ears when they told me. Why, Miss Florence 
was runnin' out to meet him two and three times in the 
week. The wonder to me was that her mother never 

"Och," replied the other, "he's the very divil and all 
when it comes to the wimmin." (Aileen did not see the 
upward lift of the hand that accompanied this). "There 
was a little girl that used to come here. Her father lives 
up the street here. Haguenin is his name. He owns that 
morning paper, the Press, and has a fine house up the street 
here a little way. Well, I haven't seen her very often of 
late, but more than once I saw him kissing her in this very 
room. Sure his wife knows all about it. Depend on it. 
She had an awful fight with some woman here onct, so I 
hear, some woman that he was runnin' with and bringin' 
here to the house. I hear it's somethin' terrible the way 
she beat her up screamin' and carryin' on. Oh, they're 
the divil, these men, when it comes to the wimmin." 

A slight rustling sound from somewhere sent the two 
gossipers on their several ways, but Aileen had heard enough 
to understand. What was she to do? How was she to 
learn more of these new women, of whom she had never 
heard at all? She at once suspected Florence Cochrane, 
for she knew that this servant had worked in the Cochrane 
family. And then Cecily Haguenin, the daughter of the 
editor with whom they were on the friendliest terms! 
Cowperwood kissing her! Was there no end to his liaisons 
his infidelity? 

She returned, fretting and grieving, to her room, where 
she meditated and meditated, wondering whether she should 
leave him, wondering whether she should reproach him 
openly, wondering whether she should employ more de- 
tectives. What good would it do? She had employed 
detectives once. Had it prevented the Stephanie Platow 
incident? Not at all. Would it prevent other liaisons 
in the future? Very likely not. Obviously her home 
life with Cowperwood was coming to a complete and 
disastrous end. Things could not go on in this way. 
She had done wrong, possibly, in taking him away from 



Mrs. Cowperwood number one, though she could scarcely 
believe that, for Mrs. Lillian Cowperwood was so un- 
suited to him but this repayment! If she had been 
at all superstitious or religious, and had known her Bible, 
which she didn't, she might have quoted to herself that very 
fatalistic statement of the New Testament, "With what 
measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you again." 

The truth was that Cowperwood's continued propensity 
to rove at liberty among the fair sex could not in the long 
run fail of some results of an unsatisfactory character. 
Coincident with the disappearance of Stephanie Platow, 
he launched upon a variety of episodes, the charming 
daughter of so worthy a man as Editor Haguenin, his 
sincerest and most sympathetic journalistic supporter; and 
the daughter of Aymar Cochrane, falling victims, among 
others, to what many would have called his wiles. As a 
matter of fact, in most cases he was as much sinned against 
as sinning, since the provocation was as much offered as given. 

The manner in which he came to get in with Cecily 
Haguenin was simple enough. Being an old friend of the 
family, and a frequent visitor at her father's house, he 
found this particular daughter of desire an easy victim. 
She was a vigorous blonde creature of twenty at this 
time, very full and plump, with large, violet eyes, and with 
considerable alertness of mind a sort of doll girl with 
whom Cowperwood found it pleasant to amuse himself. A 
playful gamboling relationship had existed between them 
when she was a mere child attending school, and had con- 
tinued through her college years whenever she happened to 
be at home on a vacation. In these very latest days when 
Cowperwood on occasion sat in the Haguenin library con- 
sulting with the journalist-publisher concerning certain 
moves which he wished to have put right before the public 
he saw considerably more of Cecily. One night, when her 
father had gone out to look up the previous action of the 
city council in connection with some matter of franchises, 
a series of more or less sympathetic and understanding 
glances suddenly culminated in Cecily's playfully waving a 
new novel, which she happened to have in her hand, in 
Cowperwood's face; and he, in reply, laid hold caressingly 
of her arms. 



"You can't stop me so easily," she observed, banter- 

"Oh yes, I can," he replied. 

A slight struggle ensued, in which he, with her semi- 
wilful connivance, managed to manoeuver her into his arms, 
her head backward against his shoulder. 

"Well," she said, looking up at him with a semi-nervous, 
semi-provocative glance, "now what? You'll just have to 
let me go." 

"Not very soon, though." 

"Oh yes, you will. My father will be here in a mo- 

"Well, not until then, anyhow. You're getting to be the 
sweetest girl." 

She did not resist, but remained gazing half nervously, 
half dreamily at him, whereupon he smoothed her cheek, 
and then kissed her. Her father's returning step put an 
end to this; but from this point on ascent or descent to a 
perfect understanding was easily made. 

In the matter of Florence Cochrane, the daughter of 
Aymar Cochrane, the president of the Chicago West Divi- 
sion Company a second affair of the period the approach 
was only slightly different, the result the same. This girl, 
to furnish only a brief impression, was a blonde of a dif- 
ferent type from Cecily delicate, picturesque, dreamy. 
She was mildly intellectual at this time, engaged in reading 
Marlowe and Jonson; and Cowperwood, busy in the matter 
of the West Chicago Street Railway, and conferring with 
her father, was conceived by her as a great personage of 
the Elizabethan order. In a tentative way she was in revolt 
against an apple-pie order of existence which was being 
forced upon her. Cowperwood recognized the mood, trifled 
with her spiritedly, looked into her eyes, and found the 
response he wanted. Neither old Aymar Cochrane nor 
his impeccably respectable wife ever discovered. 

Subsequently Aileen, reflecting upon these latest develop- 
ments, was from one point of view actually pleased or 
eased. There is always safety in numbers, and she felt that 
if Cowperwood were going to go on like this it would not be 
possible for him in the long run to take a definite interest 



in any one; and so, all things considered, and other things 
being eaual, he would probably just as leave remain mar- 
ried to ner as not. 

But what a comment, she could not help reflecting, on 
her own charms! What an end to an ideal union that had 
seemed destined to last all their days! She, Aileen Butler, 
who in her youth had deemed herself the peer of any girl 
in charm, force, beauty, to be shoved aside thus early in her 
life she was only forty by the younger generation. And 
such silly snips as they were Stephanie Platow! and 
Cecily Haguenin! and Florence Cochrane, in all likelihood 
another pasty-faced beginner! And here she was 
vigorous, resplendent, smooth of face and body, her fore- 
head, chin, neck, eyes without a wrinkle, her hair a rich 
golden reddish plow, her step springing, her weight no 
more than one hundred and fifty pounds for her very normal 
height, with all the advantages of a complete toilet cabinet, 
jewels, clothing, taste, and skill in material selection being 
elbowed out by these upstarts. It was almost unbelievable. 
It was so unfair. Life was so cruel, Cowperwood so tem- 
peramentally unbalanced. Dear God! to think that this 
should be true! Why should he not love her? She studied 
her beauty in the mirror from time to time, and raged 
and raged. Why was her body not sufficient for him? 
Why should he deem any one more beautiful ? Why should 
he not be true to his reiterated protestations that ne cared 
for her? Other nun were true to other women. Her 
father had been faithful to her mother. At the thought of 
her own father and his opinion of her conduct she winced, 
but it did not change her point of view as to her present 
rights. See her hair! See her eyes! See her smooth, re- 
splendent arms! Why should Cowperwood not love her? 
Why, indeed? 

( )ne night, shortly afterward, she was sitting in her 
boudoir reading, waiting for him to come home, when the 
telephone-bell sounded and he informed her that he was 
compelled to remain at the office late. Afterward he said 
he might be obliged to run on to Pittsburg for thirty-six 
hours or thereabouts; but he would surely be back on the 
third day, counting the present as one. Aileen was cha- 
grined. Her voice showed it. They had been scheduled 



to go to dinner with the Hoecksemas, and afterward to 
the theater. Cowperwood suggested that she should go 
alone, but Aileen declined rather sharply; she hung up the 
receiver without even the pretense of a good-by. And 
then at ten o'clock he telephoned again, saying that he 
had changed his mind, and that if she were interested to 
go anywhere a later supper, or the like she should 
dress, otherwise he would come home expecting to remain. 

Aileen immediately concluded that some scheme he had 
had to amuse himself had fallen through. Having spoiled 
her evening, he was coming home to make as much hay 
as possible out of this bit of sunshine. This infuriated her. 
The whole business of uncertainty in the matter of his affec- 
tions was telling on her nerves. A storm was in order, 
and it had come. He came bustling in a little later, 
slipped his arms around her as she came forward and 
kissed her on the mouth. He smoothed her arms in a 
make-believe and yet tender way, and patted her shoulders. 
Seeing her frown, he inquired, "What's troubling Baby- 

"Oh, nothing more than usual," replied Aileen, irritably. 
"Let's not talk about that. Have .you had your dinner?" 

"Yes, we had it brought in." He was referring to 
McKenty, Addison, and himself, and the statement was 
true. Being in an honest position for once, he felt called 
upon to justify himself a little. "It couldn't be avoided 
to-night. I'm sorry that this business takes up so much 
of my time, but I'll get out of it some day soon. Things 
are bound to ease up." 

Aileen withdrew from his embrace and went to her 
dressing-table. A glance showed her that her hair was 
slightly awry, and she smoothed it into place. She looked 
at her chin, and then went back to her book rather 
sulkily, he thought. 

"Now, Aileen, what's the trouble?" he inquired. "Aren't 
you glad to have me up here? I know you have had a 
pretty rough road of it of late, but aren't you willing to 
let bygones be bygones and trust to the future a little?" 

"The future! The future! Don't talk to me about the 
future. It's little enough it holds in store for me," she 



Cowperwood saw that she was verging on an emotional 
storm, but he trusted to his powers of persuasion, and her 
basic affection for him, to soothe and quell her. 

"I wish you wouldn't act this way, pet," he went on. 
"You know I have always cared for you. You know I 
always shall. I'll admit that there are a lot of little things 
whicn interfere with my being at home as much as I 
would like at present; but that doesn't alter the fact that 
my feeling is the same. I should think you could see 

"Feeling! Feeling!" taunted Aileen, suddenly. "Yes, 
I know how much feeling you have. You have feeling 
enough to give other women sets] of jade and jewels, and 
to run around with every silly little snip you meet. You 
needn't come home here at ten o'clock, when you can't go 
anywhere else, and talk about feeling for me. I know 
how much feeling you have. Pshaw!" 

She flung herself irritably back in her chair and opened 
her book. Cowperwood gazed at her solemnly, for this 
thrust in regard to Stephanie was a revelation. This 
woman business could grow peculiarly exasperating at 

"What do you mean, anyhow?" he observed, cautiously 
and with much seeming candor. "I haven't given any 
jade or jewels to any one, nor have I been running around 
with any 'little snips,' as you call them. I don't know 
what you are talking about, Aileen." 

"Oh, Frank," commented Aileen, wearily and incredu- 
lously, "you lie so! Why do you stand there and lie? 
I'm so tired of it; I'm so sick of it all. How should the ser- 
vants know of so many things to talk of here if they 
weren't true? I didn't invite Mrs. Platow to come and 
ask me why you had given her daughter a set of jade. I 
know why you lie; you want to hush me up and keep quiet. 
You're afraid I'll go to Mr. Haguenin or Mr. Cochrane or 
Mr. Platow, or to all three. Well, you can rest your soul 
on that score. I won't. I'm sick of you and your lies. 
Stephanie Platow the thin stick! Cecily Haguenin the 
little piece of gum! And Florence Cochrane she looks 
like a dead fish!" (Aileen had a genius for character- 
ization at times.) " If it just weren't for the way I 



acted toward my family in Philadelphia, and the talk 
it would create, and the injury it would do you finan- 
cially, I'd act to-morrow. I'd leave you that's what I'd 
do. And to think that I should ever have believed that 
you really loved me, or could care for any woman perma- 
nently. Bosh! But I don't care. Go on! Only I'll tell 
you one thing. You needn't think I'm going to go on 
enduring all this as I have in the past. I'm not. You're 
not going to deceive me always. I'm not going to stand 
it. I'm not so old yet. There are plenty of men who will 
be glad to pay me attention if you won't. I told you once 
that I wouldn't be faithful to you if you weren't to me, 
and I won't be. I'll show you. I'll go with other men. I 
will! I will! I swear it." 

"Aileen," he asked, softly, pleadingly, realizing the 
futility of additional lies under such circumstances, "won't 
you forgive me this time? Bear with me for the present. 
I scarcely understand myself at times. I am not like other 
men. You and I have run together a long time now. Why 
not wait awhile? Give me a chance! See if I do not 
change. I may." 

"Oh yes, wait! Change. You may change. Haven't 
I waited? Haven't I walked the floor night after night! 
when you haven't been here? Bear with you yes, yes! 
Who's to bear with me when my heart is breaking? Oh, 
God!" she suddenly added, with passionate vigor, "I'm 
miserable! I'm miserable! My heart aches! It aches!" 

She clutched her breast and swung from the room, mov- 
ing with that vigorous stride that had once appealed to 
him so, and still did. Alas, alas! it touched him now, but 
only as a part of a very shifty and cruel world. He hurried 
out of the room after her, and (as at the time of the Rita 
Sohlberg incident) slipped his arm about her waist; but 
she pulled away irritably. "No, no!" she exclaimed. 
"Let me alone. I'm tired of that." 

"You're really not fair to me, Aileen," with a great show 
of feeling and sincerity. "You're letting one affair that 
came between us blind your whole point of view. I give 
you my word I haven't been unfaithful to you with Ste- 
phanie Platow or any other woman. I may have flirted 
with them a little, but that is really nothing. Why not be 



sensible ? Fm not as black as you paint me. I'm moving 
in big matters that are as much for your concern and 
future as for mine. Be sensible, be liberal." 

There was much argument the usual charges and 
countercharges but, finally, because of her weariness of 
heart, his petting, the unsolvability of it all, she permitted 
him for the time being to persuade her that there were 
still some crumbs of affection left. She was soul-sick, 
heartsick. Even he, as he attempted to soothe her, realized 
clearly that to establish the reality of his love in her belief 
he would have to make some much greater effort to enter- 
tain and comfort her, and that this, in his present mood, 
and with his leaning toward promiscuity, was practically 
impossible. For the time being a peace might be patched 
up, but in view of what she expected of him her passion 
and selfish individuality it could not be. He would have 
to go on, and she would have to leave him, if needs be; 
but he could not cease or go back. He was too passionate, 
too radiant, too individual and complex to belong to any 
one single individual alone. 



THE impediments that can arise to baffle a great and 
swelling career are strange and various. In some in- 
stances all the cross-waves of life must be cut by the strong 
swimmer. With other personalities there is a chance, or 
force, that happily allies itself with them; or they quite 
unconsciously ally themselves with it, and find that there 
is a tide that bears them on. Divine will? Not neces- 
sarily. There is no understanding of it. Guardian spirits? 
There are many who so believe, to their utter undoing. 
(Witness Macbeth). An unconscious drift in the direc- 
tion of right, virtue, duty? These are banners of mortal 
manufacture. Nothing is proved; all is permitted. 

Not long after Cowperwood's accession to control on the 
West Side, for instance, a contest took place between his 
corporation and a citizen by the name of Redmond Purdy 
real-estate investor, property-trader, and money-lender 
which set Chicago by the ears. The La Salle and Washing- 
ton Street tunnels were now in active service, but because 
of the great north and south area of the West Side, ne- 
cessitating the cabling of Van Buren Street and Blue Island 
Avenue, there was need of a third tunnel somewhere south 
of Washington Street, preferably at Van Buren Street, 
because the business heart was thus more directly reached. 
Cowperwood was willing and anxious to build this tunnel, 
though he was puzzled how to secure from the city a right 
of way under Van Buren Street, where a bridge loaded with 
heavy traffic now swung. There were all sorts of complica- 
tions. In the first place, the consent of the War Depart- 
ment at Washington had to be secured in order to tunnel 
under the river at all. Secondly, the excavation, if directly 
under the bridge, might prove an intolerable nuisance, 



necessitating the closing or removal of the bridge. Owing 
to the critical, not to say hostile, attitude of the newspapers 
which, since the La Salle and Washington tunnel grants, 
were following his every move with a searchlight, Cowper- 
wood decided not to petition the city for privileges in this 
case, but instead to buy the property rights of sufficient 
land just north of the bridge, where the digging of the tun- 
nel could proceed without interference. 

The piece of land most suitable for this purpose, a lot 
150 x 150, lying a little way from the river-bank, and oc- 
cupied by a seven-story loft-building, was owned by the 
previously mentioned Redmond Purdy, a long, thin, angu- 
lar, dirty person, who wore celluloid collars and cuffs and 
spoke with a nasal intonation. 

Cowperwood had the customary overtures made by 
seemingly disinterested parties endeavoring to secure the 
land at a fair price. But Purdy, who was as stingy as a 
miser and as incisive as a rat-trap, had caught wind of the 
proposed tunnel scheme. He was all alive for a fine profit. 
"No, no, no," he declared, over and over, when approached 
by the representatives of Mr. Sylvester Toomey, Cowper- 
wood's ubiquitous land-agent. "I don't want to sell. Go 

Mr. Sylvester Toomey was finally at his wit's end, and 
complained to Cowperwood, who at once sent for those 
noble beacons of dark and stormy waters, General Van 
Sickle and the Hon. Kent Barrows McKibben. The 
General was now becoming a little dolty, and Cowperwood 
was thinking of pensioning him; but McKibben was in his 
prime smug, handsome, deadly, smooth. After talking 
it over with Mr. Toomey they returned to Cowperwood's 
office with a promising scheme. The Hon. Nahum Dick- 
ensheets, one of the judges of the State Court of Ap- 
peals, and a man long since attached, by methods which 
need not here be described, to Cowperwood's star, had been 
persuaded to bring his extensive technical knowledge to 
bear on the emergency. At his suggestion the work of 
digging the tunnel was at once begun first at the east or 
Franklin Street end; then, after eight months' digging, 
at the west or Canal Street end. A shaft was actually 
sunk some thirty feet back of Mr. Purdy's building 



between it and the river while that gentleman watched 
with a quizzical gleam in his eye this defiant procedure. 
He was sure that when it came to the necessity of annexing 
his property the North and West Chicago Street Railways 
would be obliged to pay through the nose. 

"Well, I'll be cussed," he frequently observed to him- 
self, for he could not see how his exaction of a pound of 
flesh was to be evaded, and yet he felt strangely restless 
at times. Finally, when it became absolutely necessary 
for Cowperwood to secure without further delay this cov- 
eted strip, he sent for its occupant, who called in pleasant 
anticipation of a profitable conversation; this should be 
worth a small fortune to him. 

"Mr. Purdy," observed Cowperwood, glibly, "you have 
a piece of land on the other side of the river that I need. 
Why don't you sell it to me ? Can't we fix this up now in 
some amicable way?" 

He smiled while Purdy cast shrewd, wolfish glances about 
the place, wondering how much he could really hope to 
exact. The building, with all its interior equipment, land, 
and all, was worth in the neighborhood of two hundred 
thousand dollars. 

"Why should I sell? The building is a good building. 
It's as useful to me as it would be to you. I'm making 
money out of it." 

"Quite true," replied Cowperwood, "but I am willing 
to pay you a fair price for it. A public utility is involved. 
This tunnel will be a good thing for the West Side and any 
other land you may own over there. With what I will pay 
you you can buy more land in that neighborhood or else- 
where, and make a good thing out of it. We need to put 
this tunnel just where it is, or I wouldn't trouble to argue 
with you." 

"That's just it," replied Purdy, fixedly. '* You've gone 
ahead and dug your tunnel without consulting me, and now 
you expect me to get out of the way. Well, I don't see 
that I'm called on to get out of there just to please you." 

"But I'll pay you a fair price." 

'How much will you pay me?" 

"How much do you want?" 

Mr. Purdy scratched a fox-like ear. "One million dollars." 



"One million dollars!" exclaimed Cowperwood. "Don't 
you think that's a little steep, Mr. Purdy?" 

"No," replied Purdy, sagely. "It's not any more than 
it's worth." 

Cowperwood sighed. 

"I'm sorry," he replied, meditatively, "but this is really 
too much. Wouldn't you take three hundred thousand 
dollars in cash now and consider this thing closed?" 

"One million," replied Purdy, looking sternly at the 

"Very well, Mr. Purdy," replied Cowperwood. "I'm 
very sorry. It's plain to me that we can't do business as 
I had hoped. I'm willing to pay you a reasonable sum; 
but what you ask is far too much preposterous! Don't 
you think you'd better reconsider? We might move the 
tunnel even yet." 

"One million dollars," said Purdy. 

"It can't be done, Mr. Purdy. It isn't worth it. Why 
won't you be fair? Call it three hundred and twenty-five 
thousand dollars cash, and my check to-night." 

"I wouldn't take five or six hundred thousand dollars if 
you were to offer it to me, Mr. Cowperwood, to-night or 
any other time. I know my rights." 

"Very well, then," replied Cowperwood, "that's all I 
can say. If you won't sell, you won't sell. Perhaps you'll 
change your mind later." 

Mr. Purdy went out, and Cowperwood called in his law- 
yers and his engineers. One Saturday afternoon, a week 
or two later, when the building in question had been 
vacated for the day, a company of three hundred laborers, 
with wagons, picks, shovels, and dynamite sticks, arrived. 
By sundown of the next day (which, being Sunday, was a 
legal holiday, with no courts open or sitting to issue in- 
junctions) this comely structure, the private property of 
Mr. Redmond Purdy, was completely razed and a large 
excavation substituted in its stead. The gentleman of the 
celluloid cuffs and collars, when informed about nine o'clock 
of this same Sunday morning that his building had been 
almost completely removed, was naturally greatly per- 
turbed. A portion of the wall was still standing when he 
arrived, hot and excited, and the police were appealed to. 



But, strange to say, this was of little avail, for they were 
shown a writ of injunction issued by the court of highest 
jurisdiction, presided over by the Hon. Nahum Dicken- 
sheets, which restrained all and sundry from interfering. 
(Subsequently on demand of another court this remarkable 
document was discovered to have disappeared; the con- 
tention was that it had never really existed or been produced 
at all.) 

The demolition and digging proceeded. Then began a 
scurrying of lawyers to the door of one friendly judge after 
another. There were apoplectic cheeks, blazing eyes, and 
gasps for breath while the enormity of the offense was being 
noised abroad. Law is law, however. Procedure is pro- 
cedure, and no writ of injunction was either issuable or 
returnable on a legal holiday, when no courts were sitting. 
Nevertheless, by three o'clock in the afternoon an obliging 
magistrate was found who consented to issue an injunction 
staying this terrible crime. By this time, however, the 
building was gone, the excavation complete. It remained 
merely for the West Chicago Street Railway Company to 
secure an injunction vacating the first injunction, praying 
that its rights, privileges, liberties, etc., be not interfered 
with, and so creating a contest which naturally threw the 
matter into the State Court of Appeals, where it could 
safely lie. For several years there were numberless in- 
junctions, writs of errors, doubts, motions to reconsider, 
threats to carry the matter from the state to the federal 
courts on a matter of constitutional privilege, and the like. 
The affair was finally settled out of court, for Mr. Purdy 
by this time was a more sensible man. In the mean time, 
however, the newspapers had been given full details of 
the transaction, and a storm of words against Cowperwood 

But more disturbing than the Redmond Purdy incident 
was the rivalry of a new Chicago street-railway company. 
It appeared first as an idea in the brain of one James 
Furnivale Woolsen, a determined young Westerner from 
California, and developed by degrees into consents and 
petitions from fully two-thirds of the residents of various 
streets in the extreme southwest section of the city where 



it was proposed the new line should be located. This 
same James Furnivale Woolsen, being an ambitious person, 
was not to be so easily put down. Besides the consent 
and petitions, which Cowperwood could not easily get away 
from him, he had a new form of traction then being tried 
out in several minor cities a form of electric propulsion 
by means of an overhead wire and a traveling pole, which 
was said to be very economical, and to give a service better 
than cables and cheaper even than horses. 

Cowperwood had heard all about this new electric sys- 
tem some time before, and had been studying it for several 
years with the greatest interest, since it promised to revo- 
lutionize the whole business of street-railroading. How- 
ever, having but so recently completed his excellent cable 
system, he did not see that it was advisable to throw it 
away. The trolley was as yet too much of a novelty; 
certainly it was not advisable to have it introduced into 
Chicago until he was ready to introduce it himself first 
on his outlying feeder lines, he thought, then perhaps 

But before he could take suitable action against Wool- 
sen, that engaging young upstart, who was possessed of a 
high-power imagination and a gift of gab, had allied him- 
self with such interested investors as Truman Leslie Mac- 
Donald, who saw here a heaven-sent opportunity of mulct- 
ing Cowperwood, and Jordan Jules, once the president of 
the North Chicago Gas Company, who had lost money 
through Cowperwood in the gas war. Two better instru- 
ments for goading a man whom they considered an enemy 
could not well be imagined Truman Leslie with his dark, 
waspish, mistrustful, jealous eyes, and his slim, vital body; 
and Jordan Jules, short, rotund, sandy, a sickly crop of thin, 
oily, light hair growing down over his coat-collar, his fore- 
head and crown glisteningly bald, his eyes a seeking, 
searching, revengeful blue. They in turn brought in 
Samuel Blackman, once president of the South Side Gas 
Company; Sunderland Sledd, of local railroad manage- 
ment and stock - investment fame; and Norrie Simms, 
president of the Douglas Trust Company, who, however, 
was little more than a fiscal agent. The general feeling was 
that Cowperwood's defensive tactics which consisted in 



having the city council refuse to act could be easily 

"Well, I think we can soon fix that," exclaimed young 
MacDonald, one morning at a meeting. "We ought to be 
able to smoke them out. A little publicity will do it." 

He appealed to his father, the editor of the Inquirer, but 
the latter refused to act for the time being, seeing that 
his son was interested. MacDonald, enraged at the 
do-nothing attitude of the council, invaded that body and 
demanded of Alderman Dowling, still leader, why this 
matter of the Chicago general ordinances was still lying 
unconsidered. Mr. Dowling, a large, mushy, placid man 
with blue eyes, an iron frame, and a beefy smile, vouchsafed 
the information that, although he was chairman of the 
committee on streets and alleys, he knew nothing about it. 
"I haven't been payin' much attention to things lately," 
he replied. 

Mr. MacDonald went to see the remaining members 
of this same committee. They were non-committal. They 
would have to look into the matter. Somebody claimed 
that there was a flaw in the petitions. 

Evidently there was crooked work here somewhere. 
Cowperwood was to blame, no doubt. MacDonald con- 
ferred with Blackman and Jordan Jules, and it was de- 
termined that the council should be harried into doing 
its duty. This was a legitimate enterprise. A new 
and better system of traction was being kept out of the 
city. Schryhart, since he was offered an interest, and 
since there was considerable chance of his being able to 
dominate the new enterprise, agreed that the ordinances 
ought to be acted upon. In consequence there was a re- 
newed hubbub in the newspapers. 

It was pointed out through Schryhart's Chronicle, 
through Hyssop's and Merrill's papers, and through the 
Inquirer that such a situation was intolerable. If the 
dominant party, at the behest of so sinister an influence as 
Cowperwood, was to tie up all outside traction legislation, 
there could be but one thing left an appeal to the voters 
of the city to turn the rascals out. No party could sur- 
vive such a record of political trickery and financial jug- 
glery. McKenty, Dowling, Cowperwood, and others were 
9 2 57 


characterized as unreasonable obstructionists and debas- 
ing influences. But Cowperwood merely smiled. These 
were the caterwaulings of the enemy. Later, when young 
MacDonald threatened to bring legal action to compel the 
council to do its duty, Cowperwood and his associates were 
not so cheerful. A mandamus proceeding, however futile, 
would give the newspapers great opportunity for chatter; 
moreover, a city election was drawing near. However, 
McKenty and Cowperwood were by no means helpless. 
They had offices, jobs, funds, a well - organized party 
system, the saloons, the dives, and those dark chambers 
where at late hours ballot-boxes are incontinently stuffed. 
Did Cowperwood share personally in all this? Not at 
all. Or McKenty? No. In good tweed and fine linen 
they frequently conferred in the offices of the Chicago Trust 
Company, the president's office of the North Chicago 
Street Railway System, and Mr. Cowperwood's library. 
No dark scenes were ever enacted there. But just the same, 
when the time came, the Schryhart-Simms-MacDonald 
editorial combination did not win. Mr. McKenty' s party 
had the votes. A number of the most flagrantly debauched 
aldermen, it is true, were defeated; but what is an alder- 
man here and there? The newly elected ones, even in the 
face of pre-election promises and vows, could be easily 
suborned or convinced. So the anti-Cowperwood element 
was just where it was before; but the feeling against him 
was much stronger, and considerable sentiment generated 
in the public at large that there was something wrong with 
the Cowperwood method of street-railway control. 



/COINCIDENT with these public disturbances and 
V> of subsequent bearing upon them was the discovery 
by Editor Haguenin of Cowperwood's relationship with 
Cecily. It came about not through Aileen, who was 
no longer willing to fight Cowperwood in this matter, 
but through Haguenin's lady society editor, who, hear- 
ing rumors in the social world, springing from heaven 
knows where, and being beholden to Haguenin for 
many favors, had carried the matter to him in a very 
direct way. Haguenin, a man of insufficient worldliness 
in spite of his journalistic profession, scarcely believed it. 
Cowperwood was so suave, so commercial. He had heard 
many things concerning him his past but Cowperwood's 
present state in Chicago was such, it seemed to him, as to 
preclude petty affairs of this kind. Still, the name of his 
daughter being involved, he took the matter up with Cecily, 
who under pressure confessed. She made the usual plea 
that she was of age, and that she wished to live her own life 
logic which she had gathered largely from Cowperwood's 
attitude. Haguenin did nothing about it at first, thinking 
to send Cecily off to an aunt in Nebraska; but, finding her 
intractable, and fearing some counter-advice or reprisal on 
the part of Cowperwood, who, by the way, had indorsed 
paper to the extent of one hundred thousand dollars for 
him, he decided to discuss matters first. It meant a cessa- 
tion of relations and some inconvenient financial readjust- 
ments; but it had to be. He was just on the point of call- 
ing on Cowperwood when the latter, unaware as yet of 
the latest development in regard to Cecily, and having 
some variation of his council programme to discuss with 
Haguenin, asked him over the 'phone to lunch. Haguenin 



was much surprised, but in a way relieved. "I am busy," 
he said, very heavily, "but cannot you come to the office 
some time to-day? There is something I would like to 
see you about." 

Cowperwood, imagining that there was some editorial 
or local political development on foot which might be of 
interest to him, made an appointment for shortly after 
four. He drove to the publisher's office in the Press Build- 
ing, and was greeted by a grave and almost despondent 

"Mr. Cowperwood," began Haguenin, when the financier 
entered, smart and trig, his usual air of genial sufficiency 
written all over him, "I have known you now for something 
like fourteen years, and during this time I have shown you 
nothing but courtesy and good will. It is true thfct quite 
recently you have done me various financial favors, but 
that was more due, I thought, to the sincere friendship 
you bore me than to anything else. Quite accidentally I 
have learned of the relationship that exists between you 
and my daughter. I have recently spoken to her, and 
she admitted all that I need to know. Common decency, 
it seems to me, might have suggested to you that you leave 
my child out of the list of women you have degraded. Since 
it has not, I merely wish to say to you" and Mr. Hague- 
nin's face was very tense and white "that the relationship 
between you and me is ended. The one hundred thousand 
dollars you have indorsed for me will be arranged for 
otherwise as soon as possible, and I hope you will return 
to me the stock of this paper that you hold as collateral. 
Another type of man, Mr. Cowperwood, might attempt to 
c you suffer in another way. I presume that you 
have no children of your own, or that if you have you lack 
the parental instinct; otherwise you could not have in- 
jured me in this fashion. I believe that you will live to 
see that this policy does not pay in Chicago or anywhere 

Haguenin turned slowly on his heel toward his desk. 
Cowperwood, who had listened very patiently and very 
fixedly, without a tremor of an eyelash, merely said: 

"There seems to be no common intellectual ground, 
Mr. Haguenin, upon which you and I can meet in this 



matter. You cannot understand my point of view. I 
could not possibly adopt yours. However, as you wish it, 
the stock will be returned to you upon receipt of my indorse- 
ments. I cannot say more than that/' 

He turned and walked unconcernedly out, thinking that 
it was too bad to lose the support of so respectable a man, 
but also that he could do without it. It was silly the way 
parents insisted on their daughters being something that 
they did not wish to be. 

Haguenin stood by his desk after Cowperwood had gone, 
wondering where he should get one hundred thousand dol- 
lars quickly, and also what he should do to make his 
daughter see the error of her ways. It was an astonishing 
blow he had received, he thought, in the house of a friend. 
It occurred to him that Walter Melville Hyssop, who was 
succeeding mightily with his two papers, might come to 
his rescue, and that later he could repay him when the 
Press was more prosperous. He went out to his house in 
a quandary concerning life and chance; while Cowperwood 
went to the Chicago Trust Company to confer with Videra, 
and later out to his own home to consider how he should 
equalize this loss. The state and fate of Cecily Haguenin 
was not of so much importance as many other things on 
his mind at this time. 

Far more serious were his cogitations with regard to a 
liaison he had recently ventured to establish with Mrs. 
Hosmer Hand, wife of an eminent investor and financier. 
Hand was a solid, phlegmatic, heavy-thinking person who 
had some years before lost his first wife, to whom he had 
been eminently faithful. After that, for a period of years 
he had been a lonely speculator, attending to his vast affairs; 
but finally because of his enormous wealth, his rather pre- 
sentable appearance and social rank, he had been entrapped 
by much social attention on the part of a Mrs. Jessie Drew 
Barrett into marrying her daughter Caroline, a dashing 
skip of a girl who was clever, incisive, calculating, and in- 
tensely gay. Since she was socially ambitious, and without 
much heart, the thought of Hand's millions, and how ad- 
vantageous would be her situation in case he should die, had 
enabled her to overlook quite easily his heavy, unyouthful 



appearance and to see him in the light of a lover. There 
criticism, of course. Hand was considered a victim, 
and Caroline and her mother designing minxes and cats; 
but since the wealthy financier was truly ensnared it be- 
hooved friends and future satellites to be courteous, and 
so they were. The wedding was very well attended. Mrs. 
Hand began to give house-parties, teas, musicales, and re- 
ceptions on a lavish scale. 

Cowperwood never met either her or her husband until 
he was well launched on his street-car programme. Need- 
ing two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in a hurry, and 
finding the Chicago Trust Company, the Lake City Bank, 
and other institutions heavily loaded with his securities, 
he turned in a moment of inspirational thought to Hand. 
Cowperwood was always a great borrower. His paper was 
out in large quantities. He introduced himself frequently 
to powerful men in this way, taking long or short loans at 
hign or low rates of interest, as the case might be, and some- 
times finding some one whom he could work with or use. 
In the case of Hand, though the latter was ostensibly 
of the enemies' camp the Schryhart-Union-Gas-Douglas- 
Trust-Company crowd nevertheless Cowperwood had no 
hesitation in going to him. He wished to overcome or fore- 
stall any unfavorable impression. Though Hand, a solemn 
man of shrewd but honest nature, had heard a number of 
unfavorable rumors, he was inclined to be fair and think 
the best. Perhaps Cowperwood was merely the victim of 
mvipus rivals. 

When the latter first called on him at his office in the 
Rookery Building, he was most cordial. "Come in, Mr. 
Cowperwood," he said. "I have heard a great deal about 
you from one person and another mostly from the news- 
papers. What can I do for you?" 

Cowperwood exhibited five hundred thousand dollars' 
worth of West Chicago Street Railway stock. "I want to 
know if I can get two hundred and fifty thousand dollars 
on those, by to-morrow morning." 

Hand, a placid man, looked at the securities peacefully. 
"What's the matter with your own bank?" He was re- 
ferring to the Chicago Trust Company. "Can't it take 
care of them for you?" 



"Loaded up with other things just now/' smiled Cowper- 
wood, ingratiatingly. 

"Well, if I can believe all the papers say, you're going 
to wreck these roads or Chicago or yourself; but I don't 
live by the papers. How long would you want it for?" 

"Six months, perhaps. A year, if you choose." 

Hand turned over the securities, eying their gold seals. 
"Five hundred thousand dollars' worth of six per cent. 
West Chicago preferred," he commented. "Are you earn- 
ing six per cent.?" 

"We're earning eight right now. You'll live to see the 
day when these snares will sell at two hundred dollars and 
pay twelve per cent, at that." 

'And you've quadrupled the issue of the old company? 
Weil, Chicago's growing. Leave them here until to-morrow 
or bring them back. Send over or call me, and I'll tell you." 

They talked for a little while on street-railway and cor- 
poration matters. Hand wanted to know something con- 
cerning West Chicago land a region adjoining Ravens- 
wood. Cowperwood gave him his best advice. 

The next day he 'phoned, and the stocks, so Hand in- 
formed him, were available. He would send a check over. 
So thus a tentative friendship began, and it lasted until 
the relationship between Cowperwood and Mrs. Hand 
was consummated and discovered. 

In Caroline Barrett, as she occasionally preferred to sign 
herself, Cowperwood encountered a woman who was as 
restless and fickle as himself, but not so shrewd. Socially 
ambitious, she was anything but socially conventional, 
and she did not care for Hand. Once married, she had 
planned to repay herself in part by a very gay existence. 
The affair between her and Cowperwood had begun at a 
dinner at the magnificent residence of Hand on the North 
Shore Drive overlooking the lake. Cowperwood had gone 
to talk over with her husband various Chicago matters. 
Mrs. Hand was excited by his risque reputation. A little 
woman in stature, with intensely white teeth, red lips 
which she did not hesitate to rouge on occasion, brown 
hair, and small brown eyes which nad a gay, searching, 
defiant twinkle in them, she did her best to be interesting, 
clever, witty, and she was. 



'I >wperwood by reputation, anyh 

1. holding out a v lewcled I 

nails of which at the flesh we 

with vl;;-htly rouged. 

Her eyes blazed, and : !i gleamed. "One can s. . 

ly read < < !>c in the I 

Ct>v :cturned his most u inning beam. "I'm 

d. I have read of you, 

t > > Ollt I ' ' ; '. ; * 1 I ! ' ! < i \ i .: 1 1 I ! K I ' .1 Pe I .s s l V 

about n 

"And if I did it wouldn't hurt you in my cst 
To do is to be talked about in th< se d. 

Cowperwood, because of his desire to employ the ser 

was at his best. He kept the co; n v. it hm 

lints; hut all the while he was e\ 

Aith Mrs. 1 Lmd. uh<>m In n . 
:ud mar nd for his money, and v 

under a somewhat jealous espionage, to have a good 
w. There is a kind of eagerness that goes with 
are watched and hat gives them a gay, 

(ness and sparkle in the presence of an oppor- 
Mrs. Hand had this. Cpwperwood, a 

ninity, studied her h. 

ncr hair, her ey rnilc. After some contcrnpl 

he decided, other things being equ I . 

do, and --d if she were very i 

interested in him. I i s eyes and smiU-s. the h 

. nli.r of her i h( eks indicated after a time that she 

Mi< m on the street one day n't ! ; 

had first met, she told him that she was going for a 

ends at Oconomowoc, in Wiscoi 

' I d<>n't suppose you ever get up that far north in sum- 
do you? she asked, with an air, and smiled. 
' I n r replied; "but there's no tcllinc \\hat 

I might do if I were bantered. I suppose you ride and 

"<>h yes; and play tennis and golf, too." 
where would a mere idler like me st 

"< >h. there arc several good hot* ! I i .my 

trouble about th.-.v I suppose you ride \< 

"After a fas! ;>liedCowperwood, who was an expert. 



Witness then the casual encounter on horseback, e. 
one Sunday morning in the painted hills of Wisconsin, of 
non Cowperwood and Caroline Hand. A 
jaunr ^ canter, side by side; idle talk concerning 

people, scenery, conveniences; his usual direct suggest 
and love-making, and then, subsequently 

The day of reckoning, if such it might be called, came 

Caroline Hand was, perhaps, unduly reckless. She ad- 
mired Cowperwood greatly without really loving him. He 

1 her interesting, principally because sht 
debonair, sufficient a new type. They met in C h 
after a time instead of in Wisconsin, dun in Detroit (v. 
she had friends), then in Rock ford, where a sister had gone to 
live. It was easy for him \%::h his time and means 

land, wholesale flour merchant, religious, 
moral, convt ? knew Cowperwood and his re- 

pute, encountered Mrs. Hand and Cowperwood first near 
Oconomowoc one summer's day, and later in Randolph 
Street, near Cowperwood's bachelor rooms. Being tne 
man that he was, and knowing old Hand well, he 
it was his duty to ask the latter if his wife knew Con 
wood intimatelv. There was an explosion in the Hand 
home. Mrs. Hand, when confronted by her husband, 
denied, of course, that there was anything wrong between 
her and Cowperwood. Her elderly husband, from a cer- 

telltale excitement and resentment in her manner, 
did not believe this. He thought once of confronting Cow- 
perwood; but, being heavy and practical, he finally decided 
to sever all business relationships with him and fight him 

her ways. Mrs. Hand was watched very closely, and 
a suborned maid discovered an old note she had written 
to Cowperwood. An attempt to persuade her to leave for 
Europe as old Butler had once attempted to send Aileen 
years before raised a storm of protest, but si 

1, from being neutral if not friendly, became quite the 
J.ingerous and forceful of all C ui'sC'h: 

enemies. He was a powerful man. His \\ r.ith was bound- 
less. He looked upon Cowperwood now as a dark 
dangerous man one of whom Chicago would be well rid. 



INCE the days in which Ailccn had been left more or less 
lonely by Cowperwood, however, no two individuals 
ad been more ^faithful in their attentions than Taylor Lord 
and Kent McKiMxn. Both were fond of her in a general 
finding her interesting physically and temperament- 
but, being beholden to the magnate for many favors, 
were exceedingly circumspect r attitude toward 

particularly during those early years in which they 
knew that Cowperwood was intensely devoted to her. 
Later they were not so careful. 

h was during this latter period that Aileen came grad- 
ually, through the agency of these two men, to share in .1 
form of mid-world life that was not utterly dull. In every 
large city there is a kind of social half world, where a: 
and the more adventurous of the socially unconventional 
and restless meet for an exchange of things which cann.-r 
be counted mere social form and Ir is rhe age-old 

world of Bohemia. Hither resort those "ao 
fancy that make the stage, the drawing-room, and all the 
schools of artistic endeavor interesting or peculiar. In .1 
number of studios in Chicago such as those of Lane Cross 
and Rhees Grier, such little circles were to be found. 
Rhees Grier, for instance, a purely parlor artisr. uith all 
the airs, conventions, and social adaptability of the tribe, 
had quite a following. Here and to several other places by 
turns Taylor Lord and Kt nt McKibben conducted Ail 
both asking and obtaining permission to be civil to her 
when Cowperwood was away. 

Among the friends of these two at this time was a cert a in 
Polk Lynde, an interesting society figure, whose father 
owned an immense reaper works, and whose time was sp< nt 



in idling, racing, gambling, socializing anything, in short, 
that it came into his head to do. Hi- uas tall, dark, 
athlf mht, muscular, \vith a .sm.dl dark mustache, 

dark, black-brown eyes, kinky black hair, and a fine, almost 
military carnage which he clothed always to the best 
advantage. A clever philanderer, it was quite his pride 
that he did not boast of his conquests. One look at him, 
however, by the initiated, and the story was told. AiU-i-n 
saw him on a visit to the studio of Rhees Grier. Being 
introduced to him very casually on this occasion, she was 
nevertheless clearly conscious that she was encountering a 
fascinating man, and that he was fixing her with a warm. 
eye. For the moment she recoiled from him as being a little 
too brazen in his stare, and yet she admired the general 
appearance of him. He was of that smart world that she 
admired so much, and from wtmh nw apparently sh< 
hopelessly debarred. That trig, bold air of his realized 
for her at last the tyoc of man, outside of Cowperwood, 
whom she would prefer within limits to admire her. It 
she were going to be "bad," as she would have phrased it 
T<> herself, she would be "bad" with a man such as he. 
He would be winsome and coaxing, but at the same time 
strong, direct, deliciously brutal, like her Frank. He had, 
too, what Cowperwood could not have, a certain social air 
or swagger which came with idleness, much loafing, a sense 
of social superiority and security a devil-may-can 
souciance which recks little of other people's will or whims 

When she next saw him, which was several weeks later 
at an affair of the Courtney Tabors, friends of Lord's, he 

<>h yes. By George! You're the Mrs. Cowperwood I 
met several weeks ago at Rhees Grier' s studio. I've not 
forgotten you. I've seen you in my eye all over Chicago. 
Taylor Lord introduced me to you. Say, but you're a 
beautiful woman 1" 

He leaned ingratiatingly, whimsically, admiringly near. 

Aileen realized that for so early in the afternoon, and 
considering the crowd, he was curiously enthusiastic. The 
truth .it because of some rounds he had made else- 

where he was verging toward too much liquor. His eye 
was alight, his color coppery, his air swagger, devil-may- 



care, bacchanal. This made her a little cautious; hut she 
rather liked his brown, hard face, handsome mouth. 
> Jovian curls. His compliment was not utterh 
proper; but she nevertheless attempted coyly to avoid him. 
me, Polk, here's an old friend of yours over here 
Sadie Boutwell sin- feo meet you again/' some one 

observed. catrhing him by the arm. 

"No, you don't." he exclaimed, 1 yet at the 

same time a little resentfully the kind of disjointed re- 

nent a man who has had the least bit too much is apt 

to feel on be; :rupted. "I'm > walk all 

nking of a woman I've seen somev 
to be carried away the first time I do meet her. I'm 

talk to her t 

Aileen l.iu-hed. of you, but we can 

meet at Besides, there's some one here"- 

Lord was tactfully dir< i to another 

.m. Rhees Grier and McKibbcn, uh< were present 
ic to her assistance. In the hubbub that ensued 
temporarily extricated and Lynde tactfully 
steered out of her way. But they had met I 
was not to be the last time. Subsequent to this st 
meet; nde thought the matter over quite calmly, 

and d rhat he must make a definite effort to be- 

come more intimate with Aileen. Thmiph she was 

>ung as some others, she suited his present mood 
exactly. She was n ptuous ,atui 

She was not of his world precisely, bur of it ; 
She was the wife of an eminent tin. ho had been 

in society once, and she herself had a dramatic record. 
He was sure of that. He could win her if he wanted to. 
It would be easy, knowing her as he did, and knowing what 
he did about her. 

So nnr lor . Lynde - i to in\ with 

. NK Kibben, Mr. and Mrs. Rhees Grier, and a 

.: girl friend of Mrs. Grier who was rather at- 

ive, a Miss Chrystobcl Lanman, to a theater and 

supper p. he programme was to hear a muninc farce 

p at the Richelieu, and finally to 
i exclusive !Mrnhlini:-pa: h then ' 

ished on the South Side the resort of actors, so 



gamblers, and the like where roulette, trente-et-quarante, 
. and the honest game of poker, to rhing 

of various other par hance, could be played amid 

exceedingly recherch lurrouodii 

'I'h- was gay, especially after the adjournment to 

the Rich, h: ti, where special dishes of chicken, lol 
a bucket of champagne were served. be Alcott 

Club, as the gambling resort was known. Ailcen, ac- 
cording to Lynde, was to be taught to play baa 
poker, and any other game that she wished. You follow 
my a Mrs. Cowperwood," he observed, cheerfully. 

at dinner being host, he had put her between him- 
ind McKibben "and I'll show \<m how to get yur 
money back anyhow. That's more than some 01 

he added, spiritedly, recalling by a look a recent 
occa^ i he and McKibben, being out with friend- 

latter had ad vised liberally and had seen his ad vice go w; 
"Have you been gamh! asked A : ch- 

urning to her long-time social mentor and friend. 

. I ran honestly say I haven't," replied McKibben, 
with a bland smile. I was gambling, 

but I admit I don't kn<>u hou. Now Polk, here, wins all 
the time, don't y..u. 1'olk ' Just r"..ll>w him." 

A wry smile spread over Lynde's face at this, for it 
on record in CTt les that he had lost as much as 

ten and even fifteen thousand in an evening. He also had 
a record of winning tv.em\-ii\e ti : once at baa 

D all-night and all-da d then losin; 

rule all through the evening had been casting hard. 
ning glances into Aileen's eyes. She could not avoid 
and she did not feel that she wanted to. He 
iiarming. He was talking to her half the time at 
the theater, without apparently addressing or even seeing 
Aileen knew well enough in his mind. At 
times, quite as in those days \\lu-n she had tirst nut Cow- 
K)d, she felt an unwilled titillation in her blood. 
eyes brightened. It was just possible that she could 
love a man like this, although it \\ould be hard. 
>uld serve Cowperwood right for neglecting her. 

v the shadow of Cowperwood was over her, but 
also the desire for love and a full sex life. 



In the gambling-rooms was gathered an interested and 
t'.ntlv smart throng actors, actresses, clubmen, on 
two very em.i: 1 women of the high local ^ 

and a number of more or less gentlemanly young gamblers. 
Both Lord and McKibben began suggesting column num- 
bers for first plays to their proteges, while Lynde leaned 
caressingly over Aileen's powdered shoulders. "Let me 
put this on quatre premier for you," he suggested, throw- 
ing down a twenty-dollar gold piece. 

7 'Oh, hut let it be my money," complained Aileen. I 
want to play with my money. I won't feel that it's mine 
if I don't/ 

but you can't just now. You can't play 
\Mrh hill was extracting a crisp roll from her purse. 

"I'll have to exchange them later for you for gold. You 
can pay me then. He's gpiny to call now, anyhow. There 
you are. He's done it. wait a moment You may win." 
Ami he paused to study the little ball as it circled round 
and round above the receiving pockets. 

"Let me see. How much do I get if I win quatre 
She was trying to recall her experiences abroad. 

"Ten f < : replied Lynde; "but you didn't get it. 

Let's try it once more for luck. It comes up every so 
often once in ten or twelve. I've made it often on a first 
play. How long has it been since the last quatre prcm 
he asked of a neighbor whom he recognized. 

"Seven. I think. Polk. Six or so < n Flow's tricks?" 

"Oh, so so." He turned again to Aileen. "It ought 
to come up now soon. I always make it a rule to double 
my plays each time. It gets you back all you've lost, some 
<>r other." He put down two twenties. 

"Goodness," she exclaimed, "that will be two hundred! 
I had forgotten that." 

lust then the call came for all placements to cease, and 
Aileen directed her attention to the ball. It cmleJ 
I dizzy way and then suddenly dropped. 

"Lost again nented Lynde. "Well, now we'll 

make it < tnd he threw down four twenties. "Just 

for luck we'll put something <>n thirty-six, and thirteen, 
and nine. With an easy air he laid one hundred dollars 
in gold on each number. 



Ailccn liked his manner. This was like Frank. Lynde 
h.ul the cool spirit of a plunger. His father, recognizing 
his temperament, had set over a large fixed sum to be paid 
in annually. She recognized, as in Cowperwood, the 
spirit of adventure, only working out in another way. 
ie was perhaps destined to come to some startlingly 
reckless end, but what of it ? He was a gentleman. His posi- 
tion in life was secure. That had always been Aileen's sad, 
secret thought. Hers had not been and might never be now. 

"Oh, I'm getting foozled already," she exclaimed, eailv 
reverting to a girlhood habit of clapping her hands. "How 
much will I win if I u: The gesture attracted attri- 

tion even as the ball fell. 

"By George, you have it!" exclaimed Lyndc, who was 
watching the croupier. "Ei^ht hundred, two hundred, 
two hundred" he was counting to himself "hut we lose 
thirteen. Very good, that makes us nearly one thousand 
!. o Hinting out what we put down. Rather nice for 
a beginning, don't you think? Now, if you'll take my ad- 
vice you'll not play quatre premier any more for a while. 
Suppose you double a thirteen you lost on that and 
play Bates's formula. I'll show you what th.r 

Already, because he was known to be a plunger, Lynde 
was gathering a few spectators behind him, and Aileen, 
fascinated, and not knowing these mysteries of chance, was 
content to watch him. At one stage of the playing Lynde 
leaned over and, seeing her smile, whispered: 

" What adorable hair and eyes you have! You glow like 
a great rose. You have a radiance that is wonder 

7 'Oh, Mr. Lynde! How you talk! Does gambling al- 
ways affect you this way?" 

No, you do. Always, apparently!" And he stared 
hard into her upturned eyes. Still playing ostensibly for 
Aileen's benefit, he now doubled the v\ish deposit <>n his 
system, laying down a thousand in gold. Aileen urged him 
to play for himself and let her war I'll just out a little 

money on these odd numbers here and there, ana you play 
any svstem you want. How will that do?" 

No, not at all," he replied, feelingly. "You're my luck. 
I play with you. You keep the gold for me. I'll make 
a fine present if I win. The losses are mine." 


"Just as y.ti like. I don't know n-ally enough about 
But I surely get the nice present if you 

"You do, win or lose," he murmured. "And now you 
put the money on the numbers I call. Twenty on si 

ry on thirteen. Kighty on thirty. Twenty on nine. 

ntv-four." He was following a system of his 

o\\n, and in obedience Aileen's white, plump arm reached 

and there while the spectators paused, realizing that 

heavier plavi being done by this pair than by any 

one else. Lynde \\as pi effect. He lost a thou- 

and fifty dollars at one clip. 
"Oh. all that good money!" exclaimed Aileen, mock- 

.illy, as the croupier raked it in. 

"Never mind, we'll pet it back," exclaimed Lynde, 
throwing two one-thousand-dollar bills to the cashier. 
"Give me gold for those." 

The m.: him a double handful, which he put down 

\ilt < n\ white arms. 

"One hundred on two. One hundred on four. One 
hundred on six. One hundred on eight." 

The pieces were five-dollar gold pieces, and Aileen quick- 
ly built up the little yellou and shoved them in 
place. Again the other players stopped and began to 
h the odd pair. Aileen's red-gold head, and pink 
rul swimming eyes, her body swathed in silks and 
rich laces; and Lynde, erect, his shirt bosom snowy white, 
his face dark, almost c< ppery, his eyes and hair black 

were indeed a itrikingl} .Assorted pair. 
"What's this? What ,ed Grier, coming up. 

"Who's pi unpin; ? You, Mrs. C <>d?" 

"Not plunging," replied Lynde, indifferently. "We're 
merely working out a formula Mrs. Cowperwood and I. 

re doing it together." 

Aileen smiled. She was in her element at last. She was 
beginning to shine. She was attracting attention. 

"One hundred on twelve. One hundred on eighteen. 
One hundred on twenty-six." 

"Good heavens, what are you up to, Lynde?" exclaimed 
Lord, leaving Mrs. Rhees and coming over. She followed. 
Strangers also were gathering. The business of the place 



was at its topmost toss it being two o'clock in the morn- 
-and the rooms were full. 

"Mow interesting!" observed Miss Lanman, at the other 
end of the table, pausing in her playing and staring. 
McKibben, who was beside her, also paused. "They're 
plunging. Do look at all the money! Goodness, isn't 
she daring-looking and he?" Aileen's shining arm was 
moving deftly, showily about. 

"Look at the bills he's breaking!" Lynde was taking 
out a thick layer of fresh, yellow bills which he was ex- 
changing for gold. "They make a striking pair, don't 

The board was now practically covered with Lynde's 
gold in quaint little stacks. He had followed a system 
called Ma/arin, which should give him five for one, and 
possibly break the bank. Quite a i armed about the 

table, their faces glowing in the artificial lichr. The ex- 
clamation "plunging I" "plunging!" was to be heard whis- 
pered here and there. Lynde was delightfully cool and 
straight. His lithe body was quire en reflective, 

his teeth set over an unlighted cigarette. Aileen was ex- 
cited as a child, delighted to be once more the center of 
comment. Lord looked at her with sympathetic eyes. 
He lib (1 her. Well, let her be amused. It was good for 
her now and then; but Lynde was a fool to make a show 
of himself and risk so much money. 

"Table closed!" called the croupier, and instantly the 
little ball began to spin. All eyes followed it. Round 
round it went Aileen as keen an observer as any. Her 
face was flushed, her eyes bright. 

"If we lose this," said Lynde, "we will make one more 
bet double, and then if we don't win that we'll quit." He 
already out nearly three thousand dollars. 

' '( 'h v,s, indeed! Only I think we ought to quit n 
Here goes two thousand if we don't win. Don't you think 
that's quite enough? I haven't brought you much luck, 

"You are luck," he whispered. "All the luck I want. 
One more. Stand by me for one more try, will you? If 
we win I'll quit." 

The little ball clicked even as she nodded, and the 



croupier, paying out on a frw small stacks here and there, 
raked all the reit solemnly into the i orifice, while 

murmurs of sympathetic dissatisfaction went up here and 


How much did they have on the board?" asked Miss 
Lanman of McKibben, in surprise. " It must have been a 

ileal. wasn't It : " 

"Oh, two thousand dollars, perhaps. That isn't so high 
here, though. People tin plunge for as much as ei^ht or 
ten thousand. It all depends. McKibben was in a be- 
littling, depreciating mood. 

"Oh yes, but not often, sun 

r the love of heavens. Polk!" exclaimed Rhces Gr 
coming up and plucking at his sit I you want to give 

money away five it to me. I can gather it in iust as 
well as that croupier, and I'll go get a truck and haul it 
home, where it will do some good. It's perfectly terrible 
the wav you are carrying 

nde took his lost with equanimity. "Now to double 

he observed, "and get all our losses back, or go down* 

stairs and have a rarebit and some champagne. \ 

form of a present would please you best? but never mind. 

I know a souvenir for this occasion." 

He smiled and bought more gold. Ailcen stacked it up 
showily, if a little repentantly. She did not quite approve 
of this his plunging and yet she did; she could not help 
athizing with the plunging spirit. In a few moments 
it was on the. board the same combination, the same stacks, 
ill-, doubled four thousand all told. The croupier called, 
the ball rolled and fell. Barring three hundred dollars re- 
turned, the bank took it all. 

"Well, now for a rarebit," exclaimed Lynde, easily, 
turning to Lord, who stood behind him smiling. "You 
haven't a match, have you? We've had a run of bad luck, 
that's sure." 

Lynde was secretly the least bit disgruntled, for if he 
had won he had intended to take a portion of the winnings 
and put it in a necklace or some other gewgaw for A 
Now he must pay for it. Yet there was some satisfy 
in having made an impression as a calm and indifferent, 
though heavy loser. He gave Aileen his arm. 



I, my lady," he observed, "we didn't win; but we 
had a little fun out of it, I hope? That combination, if it 
had come out, would have set us up handsomely. Better 
luck next time, < 

He smiled genially. 

s, but I was to have been your luck, and I wasn 

"You are all the luck I want, if you're willing to be. 
Come to the Richelieu to-morrow with me for lunch- 
will vou 

"Let me see," replied Aileen. \sh.>. observing his ready 
and somewhat iron fervor, was doubtful. " I can t do that, ' 
she said, finally, " I have another engagement.' 9 

"How about Tuesday, then?" 

Aileen, realizing of a sudden that she was making much 
of a situation that ought to be handled with a light hand, 
answered reaililv: "Very well Tuesday! Only call me 
up before. I may have to change my mind or the time." 
And she smiled good-naturei! 

After this Lynde had no opportunity to talk to Aileen 
privately; but in saying good night he ventured to press 
ner arm suggestively. She suffered a peculiar nervous 
thrill from this, but decided curiously that she had brought 
it upon herself bv her eagerness for life and revenge 
must make up ner mind. Did she or did she not wish t<> 

4 on with this? This was the question uppermost, and 
felt that she must decide. However, as in most such 
i umstances were to help decide for her, and, un- 
auestionably, a portion of this truth was in her mind as 
snc was shown gallantly to her door by Taylor Lord. 



THE interested appearance of a man like Polk Lynde at 
this stage of Aileen's affairs was a bit of fortuitous or 
gratuitous humor on the part of fate, which is involved 
with that subconscious chemistry of things of which as yet 
we know nothing. Here was Aileen brooding over her 
fate, meditating over her wrongs, as it were; and here was 
Polk Lynde, an interesting, forceful Lothario of the city, 
who was perhaps as well suited to her moods and her 
tastes at this time as any male outside of Cowpenvood 
could be. 

In many respects Lynde was a charming man. He was 
comparatively young not more than Aileen's own age 
schooled, if not educated, at one of the best American col- 
leges, of excellent taste in the matter of clothes, friends, and 
the details of living with which he chose to surround him- 
self, but at heart a rake. He loved, and had from his youth 
up, to gamble. He was in one phase of the word a hard 
and yet by no means a self-destructive drinker, for he had an 
iron constitution and could consume spirituous waters with 
the minimum of ill effect. He had what Gibbon was wont 
to call "the most amiable of our vices," a passion for women, 
and he cared no more for the cool, patient, almost penitent 
methods by which his father had built up the immense 
reaper business, of which he was supposedly the heir, than 
he cared for the mysteries or sacred rights of the Chaldees. 
He realized that the business itself was a splendid thing. 
He liked on occasion to think of it with all its extent of 
ground-space, plain red-brick buildings, tall stacks and 
yelling whistles; but he liked in no way to have anything 
to do with the rather commonplace routine of its manipu- 


The principal difficulty with Aileen under these cir- 
cumstances, of course, was her intense vanity and self- 
consciousness. Never was there a vainer or more sex- 
troubled woman. Why, she asked herself, should she sit 
here in loneliness day after day, brooding about Cowper- 
wood, eating her heart out, while he was flitting about 
gathering the sweets of life elsewhere? Why should she 
not offer her continued charms as a solace and a delight 
to other men who would appreciate them? Would not 
such a policy have all the essentials of justice in it? Yet 
even now, so precious had Cowperwood been to her hitherto, 
and so wonderful, that she was scarcely able to think of 
serious disloyalty. He was so charming when he was nice 
so splendid. When Lynde sought to hold her to the 
proposed luncheon engagement she at first declined. And 
there, under slightly differing conditions, the matter might 
easily have stood. But it so happened that just at this 
time Aileen was being almost daily harassed by additional 
evidence and reminders of Cowperwood's infidelity. 

For instance, going one day to call on the Haguenins 
for she was perfectly willing to keep up the pretense of 
amity in so long as they had not found out the truth 
she was informed that Mrs. Haguenin was "not at home." 
Shortly thereafter the Press, which had always been favor- 
able to Cowperwood, and which Aileen regularly read be- 
cause of its friendly comment, suddenly veered and began to 
attack him. There were solemn suggestions at first that his 
policy and intentions might not be in accord with the best 
interests of the city. A little later Haguenin printed edi- 
torials which referred to Cowperwood as "the wrecker," 
"the Philadelphia adventurer," "a conscienceless promot- 
er," and the like. Aileen guessed instantly what the 
trouble was, but she was too disturbed as to her own posi- 
tion to make any comment. She could not resolve the 
threats and menaces of Cowperwood's envious world any 
more than she could see her way through her own grim 

One day, in scanning the columns of that faithful chron- 
icle of Chicago social doings, the Chicago Saturday Review, 
she came across an item which served as a final blow. 
"For some time in high social circles," the paragraph ran, 



"speculation has been rife as to the amours ami li. 
of a certain of great wealth and pseudo social 
prominence, win. once made a serious attempt to enter 
.igo society. It is not necessary to name the man, 
for all who are acquainted with recent events in Chicago 
will know who is meant. The latest rumor to affect his 
already nefarious reputation relates to two women one the 
daughter, and the other the wife, of men of repute and 
standing in the community. In these latest instam 
is more than likely that he has arrayed influences of the 
greatest importance socially and financially against him- 
self, for the husband in the one case ana th< her in 
thcr are men of weight and authority. The sugges- 
ri'-n more than once been made that Chicago should 
and eventually would not tolerate his bucaneering methods 
in finance and social matters; but thus far no definite 
n has been taken to cast him out. The crowning 
wonder of all is that the wife, who was brought here from 
the East, and who so rumor h.s it made a rather scan- 
dalous sacrifice of her own reputation and another woman's 
heart and home in order to obtain the privilege of living 
v-irh him, should continue so to do." 

Aileen understood perfectly what was meant. "The 
father" of the so-called "one ' was probably Hague mn Of 
Cochram . more than likely Haguenm. "The husban 
the other" but who was the husband of the other? She 
had not heard of any scandal with the wife of anybody. 
It could not be the case of Rita Sohlberg and her husband- 
that was too far back. It must be some new affair of 
which she had not the least inkling, and so she sat and 
reflected. Now, she told herself, if she received another 
invitation from Lynde she would accept it. 

It was only a few days later that Aileen and Lynde met 
in the gold-room of the Richelieu. Strange to relate, 
for one determined to be indifferent she had spent much 
time in making a fetching toilet. It being February and 
chill with glimnnc snow on the ground, she had chosen 
a dark-green broadcloth gown, <juitr new, uith lapis-lazuli 
buttons that worked a ' Y" pattern across her bosom, a 
seal turban with an emerald plume which complemented 



a sealskin jacket with immense wrought silver buttons, and 
bronze shoes. To perfect it all, Aileen had fastened 1. 
lazuli ear-rings of a small flower-form in her cars, and 
a plain, heavy gold bracelet. Lynde came up with a look 
of keen approval written on his handsome brown face. 

"Will you let me tell you how nice you look?" he said, 
sinking into the chair opposite. "You show beautiful t 
in choosing the right colors. Your ear-rings go so well with 
your hu 

Although Aileen feared because of his desperateness, she 
was caught by his sleek force that air of iron strength 
under a parlor mask. His long, brown, artistic hands, 
hard and muscular, indicated an idle force that might be 
used in many ways. They harmonized with his teeth and 

"So you came, didn ' he went on, looking at her 

steadily, while she fronted his gaze boldly for a moment, 
only to look evasively d< 

He still studied her carefully, looking at her chin and 
mouth and piquant nose. In her colorful cheeks and 
strong arms and shoulders, indicated by her well-tailored 
suit, he recognized the human vigor he most craved in a 
woman. By way of diversion he ordered an old-fashioned 
whisky cocktail, urging her to join him. Finding her 
obdurate, he drew from his pocket a little box. 

"We agreed when we played the other night on a me- 
mento, didn't v . < : " he said. "A sort of souvenir? Guess?" 

Aileen looked at it a little nonplussed, recognizing the 
contents of the box to be jewelry. "Oh, you shouldn't 
have done that," she protested. 'The understanding was 
that we were to win. You lost, and that ended the bar- 
;:.IIM. I should have shared the losses. I haven't forgiven 
you for that yet, you know." 

"How uneallant that would make me!" he said, smiling- 
ly, as he trifled with the long, thin, lacquered case. "You 
wouldn't want to make me ungallant, would you? Be a good 
fellow a good sport, as they say. Guess, and it's yours." 

Aileen pursed her lips at this ardent entreaty. 

"Oh, I don't mind guessing," she commented, superior- 
ly, "though I sha'n't take it. It might be a pin, it might 
be a set of ear-rings, it might be a bracelet " 



He made no comment, but opened it, revealing a neck- 
lace of gold wrought into the form of a grape-vine of the 
most curious \\orkmanship, with a cluster of lea-. 
tically carved and arranged as a breastpiece, the center of 
them formed by a black opal, which shone with an enticing 
Aril enough that Ailecn liliar 

with many jewels, and that only one of ornate const 
and value would appeal to her sense of what was becoming 
to her. He watched her face closely while she studied the 
details of the necklace. 

"Isn't it exquisite! om men ted. "What a lovely 

opal what an odd design." Sh DVCI tin M-p 

leaves. "You shouldn't be so foolish. I couldn't rake it. 
I have too many things as it is, and besides " She 
thinking of what she would say if Cowperwood chanced to 
re she got it. He was so intuitive. 

"And besides?" he queried. 

"Nothing," she replied, "except that I mustn't tak 
real I 

"Won't you take it as a souvenir even if our agree- 
ment, you know." 

"Even if what:" she queried. 

"Even if nothing else comes of it. A memento, then 
trulv you know." 

He laid hold of her fingers with his cool, vigorous ones. 

A year before, even six months, Aileen would i ased 

her hand smilingly. Now she Why should she 
be so squeamish with other men when Cowperwood was 
so unkind to her? 

"Tell me something," Lynde asked, noting the doubt 
and holding her fingers gently but firmly, "do you care for 
me at all?" 

"I like you, yes. I can't say that it is anything more 
than th 

She flushed, though, in spite of herself. 

He merely gazed at her with his hard, burning eyes. 
The materiality that accompanies romance in so many 
temperaments awakened in her, and quite put Cov 
wood out of her mind for the moment. It was an astonish- 
ing and revolutionary experience for her. She quite burned 
in reply, and Lynde smiled sweetly, encouragingly. 



"Why won't you be friends with me, my sweetheart? 
I know you're not happy I can see that. Neither am I. 
I have a wreckless, wretched disposition that gets me into 
all sorts of hell. I need some one to care for me. Why 
won't you? You're just my sort. I feel it. Do you love 
him so much" he was referring to Cowperwood "that 
you can't love any one else?" 

"Oh, him!" retorted Aileen, irritably, almost disloyally. 
"He doesn't care for me any more. He wouldn't mind. 
It isn't him." 

"Well, then, what is it? Why won't you? Am I not 
interesting enough? Don't you like me? Don't you feel 
that I'm really suited to you?" His hand sought hers 

Aileen accepted the caress. 

"Oh, it isn't that," she replied, feelingly, running back 
in her mind over her long career with Cowperwood, his 
former love, his keen protestations. She had expected to 
make so much out of ner life with him, and here she was 
sitting in a public restaurant flirting with and extracting 
sympathy from a comparative stranger. It cut her to the 
quick for the moment and sealed her lips. Hot, unbidden 
tears welled to her eyes. 

Lynde saw them. He was really very sorry for her, 
though her beauty made him wish to take advantage of 
her distress. "Why should you cry, dearest?" he asked, 
softly, looking at her flushed cheeks and colorful eyes. 
"You have beauty; you are young; you're lovely. He's 
not the only man in the world. Why should you be faithful 
when he isn't faithful to you? This Hand affair is all over 
town. When you meet some one that really would care 
for you, why shouldn't you? If he doesn t want you, 
there are others." 

At the mention of the Hand affair Aileen straightened 
up. "The Hand affair?" she asked, curiously. "What is 

"Don't you know?" he replied, a little surprised, 
thought you did, or I certainly wouldn't have mentioned 

"Oh, I know about what it is," replied Aileen, wisely, and 
with a touch of sardonic humor. "There have been so 



many of the same kind. T suppose it must be the case 
the Chicago Review was ret erring to the wife of the 
prominent financier. Has he been trifling with Mrs. 

"Something like that/' replied Lynde. " I'm sorry that 
I spoke, though really I am. I didn't mean to be carry- 

"Soldiers in a common fight, eh ; " t.mnted Aileen, gaily. 

"Oh, not that, exactly. Please don't be mean. I'm 
not so bad. It's just a principle with me. We all h.i\e 
our little foibles." 

"Yes, I know," replied Aileen; but her mind was run- 
ning on Mrs. Hand. So she was the lat< "Well, I 
admire his taste, anyway, in this case/' she said, .iuhlv. 
"There have been so many, though. She is just one 


nde smiled. He himself admired Cowperwood's taste. 
Then he dropped the subj< 

"But let's forget that," he said. "Please don't worry 
about him any more. You can't change that. Pull your- 
s, If He squeezed her fingers. "Will you?" he 

asked, lifting his eyebrows in inquiry. 

"Will I what?" replied Ailecn, meditatively. 

"Oh, you know. The necklace for one thing. Me, 
too." His eves coaxed and laughed and pleaded. 

en smileil. " Y. u're a bad boy," she said, evasively. 
in regard to Mrs. Hand had made her 
singularly retaliatory in spirit. r me think. I) 

ask me to take the necklace to-day. I couldn't. I couldn't 
wear it, anyhow. Let me see you another time." She 
moved her plump hand in an uncertain way, and he 
smoothed her wrist. 

" I wonder if you wouldn't like to go around to the 

:> of a friend of mine here in the tower?" he asked, 

quite nonchalantly. "He has such a charming colleen.. n 

of landscapes. You're interested in pictures, I know. 

Your husband has some of the finest." 

Instantly Aileen understood what was meant quite 
by instinct. The alleged studio must be private bachelor 

"Not this afternoon," she replied, quite wrought up and 



disturbed. "Not today. Another time. And I must 
be going now. Hut I will see you." 

And this?" he asked, picking up the necklace. 

"You keep it until I do come," she replied. "I may 
take it then. ' 

She relaxed a little, pleased that she was getting safely 
auay; but her mood was anything but antagonistic, and 
her spirits were as shredded as wind-whipped clouds. It 
was time she wanted a little time that was all. 



IT is needless to say that the solemn rage of Hand, to say 
nothing of the pathetic anger of Haguenin, coupled with 
the wrath of Redmond Purdy, who related to all his sad 
story, and of young MacDonald and his associates of the 
Chicago General Company, constituted an atmosphere 
highly charged with possibilities and potent for dramatic 
results. The most serious element in this at present was 
Hosmer Hand, who, being exceedingly wealthy and a director 
in a number of the principal mercantile and financial in- 
stitutions of the city, was in a position to do Cowperwood 
some real financial harm. Hand had been extremely fond 
of his young wife. Being a man of but few experiences 
with women, it astonished and enraged him that a man like 
Cowperwood should dare to venture on his preserves in 
this reckless way, should take his dignity so lightly. He 
burned now with a hot, slow fire of revenge. 

Those who know anything concerning the financial world 
and its great adventures know how precious is that reputa- 
tion for probity, solidarity, and conservatism on which so 
many of the successful enterprises of the world are based. 
If men are not absolutely honest themselves they at least 
wish for and have faith in the honesty of others. No 
set of men know more about each other, garner more 
carefully all the straws of rumor which may affect the 
financial and social well being of an individual one way 
or another, keep a tighter mouth concerning their own 
affairs and a sharper eye on that of their neighbors. 
Cowperwood's credit had hitherto been good because it 
was known that he had a "soft thing" in the Chicago 
street-railway field, that he paid his interest charges 



promptly, that he had organized the group of men who 
now, under him, controlled the Chicago Trust Company 
and the North and West Chicago Street Railways, and 
that the Lake City Bank, of which Addison was still 
president, considered his collateral sound. Nevertheless, 
even previous to this time there had been a protesting 
element in the shape of Schryhart, Simms, and others 
of considerable import in the Douglas Trust, who had 
lost no chance to say to one and all that Cowperwood 
was an interloper, and that his course was marked by 
political and social trickery and chicanery, if not by financial 
dishonesty. As a matter of fact, Schryhart, who had once 
been a director of the Lake City National along with Hand, 
Arneel, and others, had resigned and withdrawn all his 
deposits sometime before because he found, as he declared, 
that Addison was favoring Cowperwood and the Chicago 
Trust Company with loans, when there was no need of so 
doing when it was not essentially advantageous for the 
bank so to do. Both Arneel and Hand, having at this 
time no personal quarrel with Cowperwood on any score, 
had considered this protest as biased. Addison had main- 
tained that the loans were neither unduly large nor out 
of proportion to the general loans of the bank. Ihe 
collateral offered was excellent. " I don't want to quarrel 
with Schryhart/' Addison had protested at the time; 
"but I am afraid his charge is unfair. He is trying to vent 
a private grudge through the Lake National. That is not 
the way nor this the place to do it." 

Both Hand and Arneel, sober men both, agreed with 
this admiring Addison and so the case stood. Schry- 
hart, however, frequently intimated to them both that 
Cowperwood was merely building up the Chicago Trust 
Company at the expense of the Lake City National, in 
order to make the former strong enough to do without any 
aid, at which time Addison would resign and the Lake City 
would be allowed to shift for itself. Hand had never acted 
on this suggestion but he had thought. 

It was not until the incidents relating to Cowperwood 
and Mrs. Hand had come to light that things financial and 
otherwise began to darken up. Hand, being greatly hurt 
in his pride, contemplated only severe reprisal. Meeting 



Schryhart at a directors' meeting one day not long after 
his difficulty had come upon him, he remarked: 

"I thought a few years ago, Norman, when you talked 
to me about this man Cowperwood that you were merely 
jealous a dissatisfied business rival. Recently a few 
things have come to my notice which cause me to think 
differently. It is very plain to me now that the man is 
thoroughly bad from the crown of his head to the soles 
of his feet. It's a pity the city has to endure him." 

"So you're just beginning to find that out, are you, 
Hosmer?" answered Schryhart. "Well, I'll not say I told 
you so. Perhaps you'll agree with me now that the re- 
sponsible people of Chicago ought to do something about 

Hand, a very heavy, taciturn man, merely looked at him. 

"I'll be ready enough to do," he said, "when I see how 
and what's to be done." 

A little later Schryhart, meeting Duane Kingsland, 
learned the true source of Hand's feeling against Cowper- 
wood, and was not slow in transferring this titbit to Merrill, 
Simms, and others. Merrill, who, though Cowperwood had 
refused to extend his La Salle Street tunnel loop about 
State Street and his store, had hitherto always liked him 
after a fashion remotely admired his courage and daring 
was now appropriately shocked. 

"Why, Anson," observed Schryhart, "the man is no 
good. He has the heart of a hyena and the friendliness of 
a scorpion. You heard how he treated Hand, didn't you?" 

"No," replied Merrill, "I didn't." 

"Well, it's this way, so I hear." And Schryhart leaned 
over and confidentially communicated considerable in- 
formation into Mr. Merrill's left ear. 

The latter raised his eyebrows. "Indeed!" he said. 

"And the way he came to meet her," added Schryhart, 
contemptuously, "was this. He went to Hand originally 
to borrow two hundred and fifty thousand dollars on West 
Chicago Street Railway. Angry? The word is no name 
for it. 

"You don't say so," commented Merrill, dryly, though 
privately interested and fascinated, for Mrs. Hand had 
always seemed very attractive to him. " I don't wonder." 



He recalled that his own wife had recently insisted on 
inviting Cowperwood once. 

Similarly Hand, meeting Arneel not so long afterward, 
confided to him that Cowperwood was trying to repudiate 
a sacred agreement. Arneel was grieved and surprised. 
It was enough for him to know that Hand had been seriously 
injured. Between the two of them they now decided to 
indicate to Addison, as president of the Lake City Bank, 
that all relations with Cowperwood and the Chicago Trust 
Company must cease. The result of this was, not long 
after, that Addison, very suave and gracious, agreed to 
give Cowperwood due warning that all his loans would have 
to be taken care of and then resigned to become, seven 
months later, president of the Chicago Trust Company. 
This desertion created a great stir at the time, astonishing 
the very men who had suspected that it might come to pass. 
The papers were full of it. 

"Well, let him go," observed Arneel to Hand, sourly, on 
the day that Addison notified the board of directors of the 
Lake City of his contemplated resignation. "If he wants 
to sever his connection with a bank like this to go with a 
man like that, it's his own lookout. He may live to regret 

It so happened that by now another election was pending 
in Chicago, and Hand, along with Schryhart and Arneel 
who joined their forces because of his friendship for Hand 
decided to try to fight Cowperwood through this means. 

Hosmer Hand, feeling that he had the burden of a great 
duty upon him, was not slow in acting. He was always, 
when aroused, a determined and able fighter. Needing an 
able lieutenant in the impending political conflict, he 
finally bethought himself of a man who had recently 
come to figure somewhat conspicuously in Chicago politics 
one Patrick Gilgan, the same Patrick Gilgan of 
Cowperwood's old Hyde Park gas-war days. Mr. Gilgan 
was now a comparatively well-to-do man. Owing to 
a genial capacity for mixing with people, a close mouth, 
and absolutely no understanding of, and consequently 
no conscience in matters of large public import (in so 
far as they related to the so-called rights of the mass), 



he was a fit individual to succeed politically. His saloon 
was the finest in all Wentworth Avenue. It fairly 
glittered with the newly introduced incandescent lamp re- 
flected in a perfect world of beveled and faceted mirrors. 
His ward, or district, was full of low, rain-beaten cottages 
crowded together along half-made streets; but Patrick 
Gilgan was now a state senator, slated for Congress at 
the next Congressional election, and a possible successor 
of the Hon. John J. McKenty as dictator of the city, 
if only the Republican party should come into power. 
(Hyde Park, before it had been annexed to the city, had al- 
ways been Republican, and since then, although the larger 
city was normally Democratic, Gilgan could not con- 
veniently change.) Hearing from the political discussion 
which preceded the election that Gilgan was by far the 
most powerful politician on the South Side, Hand sent for 
him. Personally, Hand had far less sympathy with the 
polite moralistic efforts of men like Haguenin, Hyssop, and 
others, who were content to preach morality and strive to 
win by the efforts of the unco good, than he had with the 
cold political logic of a man like Cowperwood himself. If 
Cowperwood could work through McKenty to such a 
powerful end, he, Hand, could find some one else who could 
be made as powerful as McKenty. 

"Mr. Gilgan," said Hand, when the Irishman came in, 
medium tall, beefy, with shrewd, twinkling gray eyes and 
hairy hands, "you don't know me " 

"I know of you well enough," smiled the Irishman, with a 
soft brogue. " You don't need an introduction to talk to me." 

"Very good," replied Hand, extending his hand. "I 
know of you, too. Then we can talk. It's the political 
situation here in Chicago I'd like to discuss with you. I'm 
not a politician myself, but I take some interest in what's 
going on. I want to know what you think will be the 
probable outcome of the present situation here in the city." 

Gilgan, having no reason for laying his private political 
convictions bare to any one whose motive he did not know, 
merely replied: "Oh, I think the Republicans may have a 
pretty good show. They have all but one or two of the 
papers with them, I see. I don't know much outside of 
what I read and hear people talk." 



Mr. Hand knew that Gilgan was sparring, and was glad 
to find his man canny and calculating. 

"I haven't asked you to come here just to be talking over 
politics in general, as you may imagine, Mr. Gilgan. I want 
to put a particular problem before you. Do you happen 
to know either Mr. McKenty or Mr. Cowperwood?" 

"I never met either of them to talk to," replied Gilgan. 
"I know Mr. McKenty by sight, and Fve seen Mr. Cow- 
perwood once." He said no more. 

"Well," said Mr. Hand, "suppose a group of influential 
men here in Chicago were to get together and guarantee 
sufficient funds for a city-wide campaign; now, if you had 
the complete support of the newspapers and the Republi- 
can organization in the bargain, could you organize the 
opposition here so that the Democratic party could be 
beaten this fall? I'm not talking about the mayor merely 
and the principal city officers, but the council, too the 
aldermen. I want to fix things so that the McKenty- 
Cowperwood crowd couldn't get an alderman or a city 
official to sell out, once they are elected. I want the Demo- 
cratic party beaten so thoroughly that there won't be any 
question in anybody's mind as to the fact that it has been 
done. There will be plenty of money forthcoming if you 
can prove to me, or, rather, to the group of men I am 
thinking of, that the thing can be done." 

Mr. Gilgan blinked his eyes solemnly. He rubbed his 
knees, put his thumbs in the armholes of his vest, took out 
a cigar, lit it, and gazed poetically at the ceiling. He was 
thinking very, very hard. Mr. Cowperwood and Mr. 
McKenty, as he knew, were very powerful men. He had 
always managed to down the McKenty opposition in his 
ward, and several others adjacent to it, and in the Eighteenth 
Senatorial District, which he represented. But to be called 
upon to defeat him in Chicago, that was different. Still, 
the thought of a large amount of cash to be distributed 
through him, and the chance of wresting the city leadership 
from McKenty by the aid of the so-called moral forces of the 
city, was very inspiring. Mr. Gilgan was a good politician. 
He loved to scheme and plot and make deals as much for 
the fun of it as anything else. Just now he drew a solemn 
face, which, however, concealed a very light heart. 
10 289 


"I have heard," went on Hand, "that you have built 
up a strong organization in your ward and district." 

"I've managed to hold me own," suggested Gilgan, arch- 
ly. " But this winning all over Chicago," he went on, after 
a moment, "now, that's a pretty large order. There are 
thirty -one wards in Chicago this election, and all but 
eight of them are nominally Democratic. I know most of 
the men that are in them now, and some of them are pretty 
shrewd men, too. This man Dowling in council is 
nobody's fool, let me tell you that. Then there's Duvanicki 
and Ungerich and Tiernan and Kerrigan all good men." 
He mentioned four of the most powerful and crooked 
aldermen in the city. "You see, Mr. Hand, the way things 
are now the Democrats have the offices, and the small 
jobs to give out. That gives them plenty of political 
workers to begin with. Then they have the privilege 
of collecting money from those in office to help elect 
themselves. That's another great privilege." He smiled. 
"Then this man Cowperwood employs all of ten thousand 
men at present, and any ward boss that's favorable to him 
can send a man out of work to him and he'll find a place 
for him. That's a gre-a-eat help in building up a party 
following. Then there's the money a man like Cowper- 
wood and others can contribute at election time. Say 
what you will, Mr. Hand, but it's the two, and five, and 
ten dollar bills paid out at the last moment over the saloon 
bars and at the polling-places that do the work. Give me 
enough money" and at this noble thought Mr. Gilgan 
straightened up and slapped one fist lightly in the other, 
adjusting at the same time his half-burned cigar so that 
it should not burn his hand "and I can carry every ward 
in Chicago, bar none. If I have money enough," he re- 
peated, emphasizing the last two words. He put his cigar 
back in his mouth, blinked his eyes defiantly, and leaned 
back in his chair. 

"Very good," commented Hand, simply; "but how much 

"Ah, that's another question," replied Gilgan, straight- 
ening up once more. "Some wards require more than 
others. Counting out the eight that are normally Repub- 
lican as safe, you would have to carry eighteen others to 



have a majority in council. I don't see how anything 
under ten to fifteen thousand dollars to a ward would be 
safe to go on. I should say three hundred thousand dollars 
would be safer, and that wouldn't be any too much by 
any means." 

Mr. Gilgan restored his cigar and puffed heavily the 
while he leaned back and lifted his eyes once more. 

"And how would that money be distributed exactly ? " 
inquired Mr. Hand. 

"Oh, well, it's never wise to look into such matters too 
closely," commented Mr. Gilgan, comfortably. "There's 
such a thing as cutting your cloth too close in politics. 
There are ward captains, leaders, block captains, workers. 
They all have to have money to do with to work up senti- 
ment and you can't be too inquiring as to just how they 
do it. It's spent in saloons, and buying coal for mother, 
and getting Johnnie a new suit here and there. Then 
there are torch-light processions and club-rooms and jobs 
to look after. Sure, there's plenty of places for it. Some 
men may have to be brought into these wards to live 
kept in boarding-houses for a week or ten days." He 
waved a hand deprecatingly. 

Mr. Hand, whohad never busied himself with the 
minutiae of politics, opened his eyes slightly. This coloniz- 
ing idea was a little liberal, he thought. 

"Who distributes this money?" he asked, finally. 

"Nominally, the Republican County Committee, if it's 
in charge; actually, the man or men who are leading the 
fight. In the case of the Democratic party it's John J. 
McKenty, and don't you forget it. In my district it's me, 
and no one else." 

Mr. Hand, slow, solid, almost obtuse at times, meditated 
under lowering brows. He had always been associated 
with a more or less silk-stocking crew who were unused 
to the rough usage of back-room saloon politics, yet every 
one suspected vaguely, of course, at times that ballot- 
boxes were stuffed and ward lodging-houses colonized. 
Every one (at least every one of any worldly intelligence) 
knew that political capital was collected from office-seekers, 
office-holders, beneficiaries of all sorts and conditions under 
the reigning city administration. Mr. Hand had himself 



contributed to the Republican party for favors received 
or about to be. As a man who had been compelled to 
handle large affairs in a large way he was not inclined to 
quarrel with this. Three hundred thousand dollars was 
a large sum, and he was not inclined to subscribe it alone, 
but fancied that at his recommendation and with his advice 
it could be raised. Was Gilgan the man to fight Cowper- 
wood? He looked him over and decided other things 
being equal that he was. And forthwith the bargain was 
struck. Gilgan, as a Republican central committeeman 
chairman, possibly was to visit every ward, connect up with 
every available Republican force, pick strong, suitable anti- 
Cowperwood candidates, and try to elect them, while he, 
Hand, organized the money element and collected the neces- 
sary cash. Gilgan was to be given money personally. He 
was to have the undivided if secret support of all the high 
Republican elements in the city. His business was to win 
at almost any cost. And as a reward he was to have the 
Republican support for Congress, or, failing that, the prac- 
tical Republican leadership in city and county. 

"Anyhow," said Hand, after Mr. Gilgan finally took 
his departure, "things won't be so easy for Mr. Cowper- 
wood in the future as they were in t$ie past. And when 
it comes to getting his franchises renewed, if I'm alive, 
we'll see whether he will or not." 

The heavy financier actually growled a low growl as he 
spoke out loud to himself. He felt a boundless rancor tow- 
ard the man who had, as he supposed, alienated the affec- 
tions of his smart young wife. 



IN the first and second wards of Chicago at this time 
wards including the business heart, South Clark Street, 
the water-front, the river-levee, and the like were two 
men, Michael (alias Smiling Mike) Tiernan and Patrick 
(alias Emerald Pat) Kerrigan, who, for picturequeness of 
character and sordidness of atmosphere, could not be 
equaled elsewhere in the city, if in the nation at large. 
"Smiling" Mike Tiernan, proud possessor of four of the 
largest and filthiest saloons of this area, was a man of large 
and genial mold perhaps six feet one inch in height, 
broad-shouldered in proportion, with a bovine head, bullet- 
shaped from one angle, and big, healthy, hairy hands and 
large feet. He had done many things from digging in a 
ditch to occupying a seat in the city council from this his 
beloved ward, which he sold out regularly for one purpose 
and another; but his chief present joy consisted in sitting 
behind a solid mahogany railing at a rosewood desk in the 
back portion of his largest Clark Street hostelry "The 
Silver Moon." Here he counted up the returns from his 
various properties saloons, gambling resorts, [and houses 
of prostitution which he manipulated with the connivance 
or blinking courtesy of the present administration, and 
listened to the pleas and demands of his henchmen and 

The character of Mr. Kerrigan, Mr. Tiernan's only rival 
in this rather difficult and sordid region, was somewhat dif- 
ferent. He was a small man, quite dapper, with a lean, 
hollow, and somewhat haggard face, but by no means 
sickly body, a large, strident mustache, a wealth of coal- 
black hair parted slickly on one side, and a shrewd, genial 
brown-black eye constituting altogether a rather pleasing 


and ornate figure whom it was not at all unsatisfactory to 
meet. His ears were large and stood out bat-wise from his 
head; and his eyes gleamed with a smart, evasive light. 
He was cleverer financially than Tiernan, richer, and no 
more than thirty-five, whereas Mr. Tiernan was forty-five 
years of age. Like Mr. Tiernan in the first ward, Mr. 
Kerrigan was a power in the second, and controlled a most 
useful and dangerous floating vote. His saloons harbored 
the largest floating element that was to be found in the 
city longshoremen, railroad hands, stevedores, tramps, 
thugs, thieves, pimps, rounders, detectives, and the like. 
He was very vain, considered himself handsome, a "killer" 
with the ladies. Married, and with two children and a 
sedate young wife, he still had his mistress, who changed 
from year to year, and his intermediate girls. His clothes 
were altogether noteworthy, but it was his pride to eschew 
jewelry, except for one enormous emerald, value fourteen 
thousand dollars, which he wore in his necktie on occasions, 
and the wonder of which, pervading all Dearborn Street 
and the city council, had won him the soubriquet of "Emer- 
ald Pat." At first he rejoiced heartily in this title, as he 
did in a gold and diamond medal awarded him by a Chicago 
brewery for selling the largest number of barrels of beer 
of any saloon in Chicago. More recently, the newspapers 
having begun to pay humorous attention to both himself 
and Mr. Tiernan, because of their prosperity and in- 
dividuality, he resented it. 

The relation of these two men to the present political 
situation was peculiar, and, as it turned out, was to con- 
stitute the weak spot in the Cowperwood-McKenty cam- 
paign. Tiernan and Kerrigan, to begin with, being neigh- 
bors and friends, worked together in politics and business, 
on occasions pooling their issues and doing each other 
favors. The enterprises in which they were engaged being 
low and shabby, they needed counsel and consolation. In- 
finitely beneath a man like McKenty in understanding and 
a politic grasp of life, they were, nevertheless, as they pros- 
pered, somewhat jealous of him and his high estate. They 
saw with speculative and somewhat jealous eyes how, 
after his union with Cowperwood, he grew and how he man- 
aged to work his will in many ways by extracting tolls 



from the police department, and heavy annual campaign 
contributions from manufacturers favored by the city gas 
and water departments. McKenty a born manipulator in 
this respect knew where political funds were to be had in 
an hour of emergency, and he did not hesitate to demand 
them. Tiernan and Kerrigan had always been fairly 
treated by him as politics go; but they had never as yet 
been included in his inner council of plotters. When he 
was down-town on one errand or another, he stopped in 
at their places to shake hands with them, to inquire after 
business, to ask if there was any favor he could do them; 
but never did he stoop to ask a favor of them or personally 
to promise any form of reward. That was the business of 
Dowling and others through whom he worked. 

Naturally men of strong, restive, animal disposition, 
finding no complete outlet for all their growing capacity, 
Tiernan and Kerrigan were both curious to see in what 
way they could add to their honors and emoluments. 
Their wards, more than any in the city, were increasing 
in what might be called a vote-piling capacity, the honest, 
legitimate vote not being so large, but the opportunities 
afforded for colonizing, repeating, and ballot-box stuffing 
being immense. In a doubtful mayoralty campaign the 
first and second wards alone, coupled with a portion of the 
third adjoining them, would register sufficient illegitimate 
votes (after voting-hours, if necessary) to completely change 
the complexion of the city as to the general officers nomi- 
nated. Large amounts of money were sent to Tiernan and 
Kerrigan around election time by the Democratic County 
Committee to be disposed of as they saw fit. They merely 
sent in a rough estimate of how much they would need, 
and always received a little more than they asked for. 
They never made nor were asked to make accounting 
afterward. Tiernan would receive as high as fifteen and 
eighteen, Kerrigan sometimes as much as twenty to twenty- 
five thousand dollars, his being the pivotal ward under 
such circumstances. 

McKenty had recently begun to recognize that these 
two men would soon have to be given fuller consid- 
eration, for they were becoming more or less influential. 
But how? Their personalities, let alone the reputation 



of their wards and the methods they employed, were 
not such as to command public confidence. In the 
mean time, owing to the tremendous growth of the 
city, the growth of their own private business, and the 
amount of ballot-box stuffing, repeating, and the like 
which was required of them, they were growing more and 
more restless. Why should not they be slated for higher 
offices? they now frequently asked themselves. Tiernan 
would have been delighted to have been nominated for 
sheriff or city treasurer. He considered himself eminently 
qualified. Kerrigan at the last city convention had privately 
urged on Dowling the wisdom of nominating him for the 
position of commissioner of highways and sewers, which 
office he was anxious to obtain because of its reported com- 
mercial perquisites; but this year, of all times, owing to 
the need of nominating an unblemished ticket to defeat 
the sharp Republican opposition, such a nomination was 
not possible. It would have drawn the fire of all the re- 
spectable elements in the city. As a result both Tiernan 
and Kerrigan, thinking over their services, past and future, 
felt very much disgruntled. They were really not large 
enough mentally to understand how dangerous outside 
of certain fields of activity they were to the party. 

After his conference with Hand, Gilgan, going about the 
city with the promise of ready cash on his lips, was able 
to arouse considerable enthusiasm for the Republican cause. 
In the wards and sections where the so-called "better 
element" prevailed it seemed probable, because of the 
heavy moral teaching of the newspapers, that the respect- 
able vote would array itself almost solidly this time against 
Cowperwood. In the poorer wards it would not be so 
easy. True, it was possible, by a sufficient outlay of cash, 
to find certain hardy bucaneers who could be induced to 
knife their own brothers, but the result was not certain. 
Having heard through one person and another of the dis- 
gruntled mood of both Kerrigan and Tiernan, and recogniz- 
ing himself, even if he was a Republican, to be a man much 
more of their own stripe than either McKenty or Dowling, 
Gilgan decided to visit that lusty pair and see what could 
be done by way of alienating them from the present center 
of power. 



After due reflection he first sought out "Emerald Pat" 
Kerrigan, whom he knew personally but with whom he was 
by no means intimate politically, at his "Emporium Bar" 
in Dearborn Street. This particular saloon, a feature of 
political Chicago at this time, was a large affair containing 
among other marvelous saloon fixtures a circular bar of 
cherry wood twelve feet in diameter, which glowed as 
a small mountain with the- customary plain and colored 
glasses, bottles, labels, and mirrors. The floor was a 
composition of small, shaded red-and-green marbles; the 
ceiling a daub of pinky, fleshy nudes floating among 
diaphanous clouds; the walls were alternate panels of 
cerise and brown set in rosewood. Mr. Kerrigan, when 
other duties were not pressing, was usually to be found 
standing chatting with several friends and surveying the 
wonders of his bar trade, which was very large. On the 
day of Mr. Gilgan's call he was resplendent in a dark- 
brown suit with a fine red stripe in it, Cordovan leather 
shoes, a wine -colored tie ornamented with the emerald 
of so much renown, and a straw hat of flaring proportions 
and novel weave. About his waist, in lieu of a waistcoat, 
was fastened one of the eccentricities of the day, a manu- 
factured silk sash. He formed an interesting contrast with 
Mr. Gilgan, who now came up very moist, pink, and warm, 
in a fine, light tweed of creamy, showy texture, straw hat, 
and yellow shoes. 

"How are you, Kerrigan?" he observed, genially, there 
being no political enmity between them. "How's the first, 
and how's trade? I see you haven't lost the emerald 

"No. No danger of that. Oh, trade's all right. And 
so's the first. How's Mr. Gilgan?" Kerrigan extended 
his hand cordially. 

"I have a word to say to you. Have you any time to 

For answer Mr. Kerrigan led the way into the back 
room. Already he had heard rumors of a strong Republi- 
can opposition at the coming election. 

Mr. Gilgan sat down. "It's about things this fall 
I've come to see you, of course," he began, smilingly. "You 
and I are supposed to be on opposite sides of the fence, 



and we are as a rule, but I am wondering whether we need 
be this time or not?" 

Mr. Kerrigan, shrewd though seemingly simple, fixed 
him with an amiable eye. "What's your scheme?" he 
said. "I'm always open to a good idea." 

"Well, it's just this," began Mr. Gilgan, feeling his way. 
"You have a fine big ward here that you carry in your vest 
pocket, and so has Tiernan, as we all know; and we all 
know, too, that if it wasn't for what you and him can do 
there wouldn't always be a Democratic mayor elected. 
Now, I have an idea, from looking into the thing, that 
neither you nor Tiernan have got as much out of it so far 
as you might have." 

Mr. Kerrigan was too cautious to comment as to that, 
though Mr. Gilgan paused for a moment. 

"Now, I have a plan, as I say, and you can take it or 
leave it, just as you want, and no hard feelings one way or 
the other. I think the Republicans are going to win this 
fall McKenty or no McKenty first, second, and third 
wards with us or not, as they choose. The doings of the 
big fellow" he was referring to McKenty "with the 
other fellow in North Clark Street" Mr. Gilgan preferred 
to be a little enigmatic at times "are very much in the 
wind just now. You see how the papers stand. I happen 
to know where there's any quantity of money coming into 
the game from big financial quarters who have no use for 
this railroad man. It's a solid La Salle and Dearborn 
Street line-up, so far as I can see. Why, I don't know. 
But so it is. Maybe you know better than I do. Anyhow, 
that's the way it stands now. Add to that the fact that 
there are eight naturally Republican wards as it is, and ten 
more where there is always a fighting chance, and you 
begin to see what I'm driving at. Count out these last 
ten, though, and bet only on the eight that are sure to stand. 
That leaves twenty-three wards that we Republicans al- 
ways conceded to you people; but if we manage to carry 
thirteen of them along with the eight I'm talking about, we'll 
have a majority in council, and" flick! he snapped his 
fingers "out you go you, McKenty, Cowperwood, and 
all the rest. No more franchises, no more street-paving 
contracts, no more gas deals. Nothing for two years, 



anyhow, and maybe longer. If we win we'll take the jobs 
and the fat deals." He paused and surveyed Kerrigan 
cheerfully but defiantly. 

"Now, Pve just been all over the city," he continued, 
"in every ward and precinct, so I know something of what 
I am talking about. I have the men and the cash to put 
up a fight all along the line this time. This fall we win 
me and the big fellows over there in La Salle Street, and 
all the Republicans or Democrats or Prohibitionists, or 
whoever else comes in with us do you get me? We're 
going to put up the biggest political fight Chicago has ever 
seen. I'm not naming any names just yet, but when the 
time comes you'll see. Now, what I want to ask of you 
is this, and I'll not mince me words nor beat around the 
bush. Will you and Tiernan come in with me and Edstrom 
to take over the city and run it during the next two years? 
If you will, we can win hands down. It will be a case of 
share and share alike on everything police, gas, water, 
highways, street-railways, everything or we'll divide be- 
forehand and put it down in black and white. I know that 
you and Tiernan work together, or I wouldn't talk about this. 
Edstrom has the Swedes where he wants them, and he'll 
poll twenty thousand of them this fall. There's Ungerich 
with his Germans; one of us might make a deal with him 
afterward, give him most any office he wants. If we 
win this time we can hold the city for six or eight years 
anyhow, most likely, and after that well, there's no 
use lookin' too far in the future Anyhow we'd have 
a majority of the council and carry the mayor along 
with it." 

"If" commented Mr. Kerrigan, dryly. 

"If," replied Mr. Gilgan, sententiously. "You're very 
right. There's a big 'if' in there, I'll admit. But if these 
two wards yours and Tiernan's could by any chance be 
carried for the Republicans they'd be equal to any four or 
five of the others." 

"Very true," replied Mr. Kerrigan, "if they could be 
carried for the Republicans. But they can't be. What do 
you want me to do, anyhow? Lose me seat in council and 
be run out of the Democratic party? What's your game? 
You don't take me for a plain damn fool, do you?" 



"Sorry the man that ever took 'Emerald Pat* for that," 
answered Gilgan, with honeyed compliment. "I never 
would. But no one is askin' ye to lose your seat in council 
and be run out of the Democratic party. What's to hinder 
you from electin' yourself and droppin' the rest of the 
ticket?" He had almost said "knifing." 

Mr. Kerrigan smiled. In spite of all his previous dis- 
satisfaction with the Chicago situation he had not thought 
of Mr. Gilgan's talk as leading to this. It was an interest- 
ing idea. He had "knifed" people before here and there 
a particular candidate whom it was desirable to undo. 
If the Democratic party was in any danger of losing this 
fall, and if Gilgan was honest in his desire to divide and 
control, it might not be such a bad thing. Neither Cow- 
perwood, McKenty, nor Dowling had ever favored him 
in any particular way. If they lost through him, and 
he could still keep himself in power, they would have to 
make terms with him. There was no chance of their run- 
ning him out. Why shouldn't he knife the ticket? It was 
worth thinking over, to say the least. 

"That's all very fine," he observed, dryly, after his 
meditations had run their course; "but how do I know 
that you wouldn't turn around and 'welch' on the agree- 
ment afterward?" (Mr. Gilgan stirred irritably at the 
suggestion.) "Dave Morrissey came to me four years ago 
to help him out, and a lot of satisfaction I got afterward." 
Kerrigan was referring to a man whom he had helped make 
county clerk, and who had turned on him when he asked for 
return favors and his support for the office of commissioner 
of highways. Morrissey had become a prominent politician. 

"That's very easy to say," replied Gilgan, irritably, 
"but it's not true of me. Ask any man in my district. 
Ask the men who know me. I'll put my part of the bar- 
gain in black and white if you'll put yours. If I don't 
make good, show me up afterward. I'll take you to the 
people that are backing me. I'll show you the money. 
I've got the goods this time. What do you stand to lose, 
anyhow? They can't run you out for cutting the ticket. 
They can't prove it. We'll bring police in here to make 
it look like a fair vote. I'll put up as much money as they 
will to carry this district, and more." 



Mr. Kerrigan suddenly saw a grand coup here. He 
could "draw down" from the Democrats, as he would have 
expressed it, twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars to do 
the dirty work here. Gilgan would furnish him as much 
and more the situation being so critical. Perhaps fifteen 
or eighteen thousand would be necessary to poll the number 
of votes required either way. At the last hour, before stuff- 
ing the boxes, he would learn how the city was going. If 
it looked favorable for the Republicans it would be easy to 
complete the victory and complain that his lieutenants had 
been suborned. If it looked certain for the Democrats he 
could throw Gilgan and pocket his funds. In either case 
he would be "in" twenty-five to thirty thousand dollars, 
and he would still be councilman. 

"All very fine," replied Mr. Kerrigan, pretending a dull- 
ness which he did not feel; "but it's damned ticklish busi- 
ness at best. I don't know that I want anything to do 
with it even if we could win. It's true the City Hall 
crowd have never played into my hands very much; but 
this is a Democratic district, and I'm a Democrat. If it 
ever got out that I had thrown the party it would be pretty 
near all day with me." 

"I'm a man of my word," declared Mr. Gilgan, em- 
phatically, getting up. "I never threw a man or a bet 
in my life. Look at me record in the eighteenth. Did you 
ever hear any one say that I had?" 

"No, I never did," returned Kerrigan, mildly. "But 
it's a pretty large thing you're proposing, Mr. Gilgan. I 
wouldn't want to say what I thought about it offhand. 
This ward is supposed to be Democratic. It couldn't be 
swung over into the Republican column without a good bit 
of fuss being made about it. You'd better see Mr. Tiernan 
first and hear what he has to say. Afterward I might be 
willing to talk about it further. Not now, though not 

Mr. Gilgan went away quite jauntily and cheerfully. He 
was not at all downcast. 



QUBSEQUENTLY Mr. Kerrigan called on Mr. Tiernan 
J5 casually. Mr. Tiernan returned the call. A little later 
Messrs. Tiernan, Kerrigan, and Gilgan, in a parlor-room 
in a small hotel in Milwaukee (in order not to be seen 
together), conferred. Finally Messrs. Tiernan, Edstrom, 
Kerrigan, and Gilgan met and mapped out a programme 
of division far too intricate to be indicated here. Needless 
to say, it involved the division of chief clerks, pro rata, of 
police graft, of gambling and bawdy-house perquisites, of 
returns from gas, street-railway, and other organizations. 
It was sealed with many solemn promises. If it could be 
made effective this quadrumvirate was to endure for years. 
Judges, small magistrates, officers large and small, the 
shrievalty, the water office, the tax office, all were to come 
within its purview. It was a fine, handsome political dream, 
and as such worthy of every courtesy and consideration; 
but it was only a political dream in its ultimate aspects, 
and as such impressed the participants themselves at 

The campaign was now in full blast. The summer and 
fall (September and October) went by to the tune of 
Democratic and Republican marching club bands, to the 
sound of lusty political voices orating in parks, at street- 
corners, in wooden "wigwams," halls, tents, and parlors 
wherever a meager handful of listeners could be drummed 
up and made by any device to keep still. The newspapers 
honked and bellowed, as is the way with those profit- 
appointed advocates and guardians of "right" and "jus- 
tice." Cowperwood and McKenty were denounced from 
nearly every street-corner in Chicago. Wagons and sign- 
boards on wheels were hauled about labeled "Break the 



partnership between the street-railway corporations and 
the city council." "Do you want more streets stolen?" 
"Do you want Cowperwood to own Chicago?" Cowper- 
wood himself, coming down-town of a morning or driving 
home of an evening, saw these things. He saw the huge signs, 
listened to speeches denouncing himself, and smiled. By 
now he was quite aware as to whence this powerful uprising 
had sprung. Hand was back of it, he knew for so McKenty 
and Addison had quickly discovered and with Hand was 
Schryhart, Arneel, Merrill, the Douglas Trust Company, 
the various editors, young Truman Leslie MacDonald, the 
old gas crowd, the Chicago General Company all. He 
even suspected that certain aldermen might possibly be 
suborned to desert him, though all professed loyalty. 
McKenty, Addison, Videra, and himself were planning the 
details of their defenses as carefully and effectively as 
possible. Cowperwood was fully alive to the fact that if 
he lost this election the first to be vigorously contested 
it might involve a serious chain of events; but he did not 
propose to be unduly disturbed, since he could always 
fight in the courts by money, and by preferment in the 
council, and with the mayor and the city attorney. "There 
is more than one way to kill a cat," was one of his pet ex- 
pressions, and it expressed his logic and courage exactly. 
Yet he did not wish to lose. 

One of the amusing features of the campaign was that 
the McKenty orators had been instructed to shout as loud- 
ly for reforms as the Republicans, only instead of assailing 
Cowperwood and McKenty they were to point out that 
Schryhart's Chicago City Railway was far more rapacious, 
and that this was a scheme to give it a blanket franchise of 
all streets not yet covered by either the Cowperwood or the 
Schryhart-Hand-Arneel lines. It was a pretty argument. 
The Democrats could point with pride to a uniformly 
liberal interpretation of some trying Sunday laws, where- 
by under Republican and reform administrations it had 
been occasionally difficult for the honest working-man to 
get his glass or pail of beer on Sunday. On the other 
hand, it was possible for the Republican orators to show 
how "the low dives and gin-mills" were everywhere being 
operated in favor of McKenty, and that under the highly 



respectable administration of the Republican candidate 
t. T mayor this partnership between the city government 
and vice and crime would be nullified. 

"If I am elected," declared the Honorable Chaffee 
Thayer Sluss, the Republican candidate, "neither Frank 
Cowperwood nor John McKenty will dare to show his 
face in the City Hall unless he comes with clean hands 
and an honest purpose." 

"Hoorarl" yelled the crowd. 

"I know that ass," commented Addison, when he read 
this in the Transcript. "He used to be a clerk in the 
Douglas Trust Company. He's made a little money 
recently in the paper business. He's a mere tool for the 
Arneel-Schryhart interests. He hasn't the courage of a 
two-inch fish-worm." 

When McKenty read it he simply observed: "There are 
other ways of $omg to City Hall than by going yourself"." 
He was depending upon a councilmanic majority at least. 

However, in the midst of this uproar the goings to 
and fro of Gilgan, Edstrom, Kerrigan, and Tiernan wi-re 
not fully grasped. A more urbanely shifty pair than the si- 
latter were never seen. While fraternizing secretly with 
both Gilgan and Edstrom, laying out their political pro- 
gramme most neatly, they were at the same time conferring 
with Dowling, Duvanicki, even McKenty himself. Seeing 
that the outcome was, for some reason he could scarcely 
see why looking very uncertain, McKenty one day asked 
the two of them to come to see him. On petting the letter 
Mr. Tiernan strolled over to Mr. Kerrigan's place to see 
whether he also had received a message. 

"Sure, sure! I did!" replied Mr. Kerrigan, gaily. 
"Here it is now in me outside coat pocket. 'Dear Mr. 
Kerrigan,'" he read, "'won't you do me the favor to come 
over to-morrow evening at seven and dine with me? Mr. 
Ungerich, Mr. Duvanicki, and several others will very 
likely drop in afterward. I have asked Mr. Tiernan to 
come at the same time. Sincerely, John^ J. McKenty.' 
That's the way he does it," added Mr. Kerrigan; "just 
like that." 

He kissed the letter mockingly and put it back into his 



"Sure I got one, jist the same way. The very same 
lun^wkl'^r, nearly," commented Mr. Tiernan, sweetly. 
"He's beginning to wake up, eh? What! The little old 
first and second are beginning to look purty big just now, 
eh? What!" 

"Tush!" observed Mr. Kerrigan to Mr. Tiernan, with a 
marked sardonic emphasis, "that combination won't last 
forever. They've been getting too big for their pants, 
I'm thinking. Well, it's a long road, eh? It's pretty 
near time, what?" 

"You're right," responded Mr. Tiernan, feelingly. "It 
is a long road. These are the two big wards of the city, 
and everybody knows it. If we turn on them at the last 
moment where will they be, eh?" 

He put a fat finger alongside of his heavy reddish nose 
and looked at Mr. Kerrigan out of squinted eves. 

"You're damned right," replied the little politician, 

They went to the dinner separately, so as not to appear 
to have conferred before, and greeted each other on arriving 
as though they had not seen each other for days. 

"How's business, Mike?" 

"Oh, fair, Pat. How's things with you?" 

"So so." 

"Things lookin' all right in your ward for November?" 

Mr. Tiernan wrinkled a fat forehead. "Can't tell yet." 
All this was for the benefit of Mr. McKenty, who did not 
suspect rank party disloyalty. 

Nothing much came of this conference, except that they 
sat about discussing in a general way wards, pluralities, 
what Zeigler was likely to do with the twelfth, whet In r 
Pinski could make it in the sixth, Schlumbohm in the 
twentieth, and so on. New Republican contestants in old, 
safe Democratic wards were making things look dubious. 

"And how about the first, Kerrigan?" inquired Un- 
gerich, a thin, reflective German-American of shrewd pres- 
ence. Ungerich was one who had hitherto wormed himself 
hiuher in McKenty's favor than either Kerrigan or 

"Oh, the first's all right," replied Kerrigan, archly. "Of 
course you never can tell. This fellow Scully may do some- 



thing, but I don't think it will be much. If we have the 
same police protection " 

Ungerich was gratified. He was having a struggle in 
his own ward, where a rival by the name of Glover ap- 
peared to be pouring out money like water. He would 
require considerably more money than usual to win. It 
was the same with Duvanicki. 

McKenty finally parted with his lieutenants more feel- 
ingly with Kerrigan and Tiernan than he had ever done 
before. He did not wholly trust these two, and he could 
not exactly admire them and their methods, which were 
the roughest of all, but they were useful. 

'I'm glad to learn/' he said, at parting, "that things 
are looking all right with you, Pat, and you, M 
nodding to each in turn. "We're going to need the most 
we can get out of everybody. I depend on you two to 
make a hne showing the best of any. The rest of us will 
not forget it when the plums are being handed around 

"Oh, you can depend on me to do the best I can always," 
commented Mr. Kerrigan, sympathetically. "It's a tough 
year, but we haven't failed yet." 

"And me, Chief! That goes for me," observed Mr. 
Tiernan, raucously. " I guess I can do as well as I have." 

"Good for you, Mike!" soothed McKenty, laying a 
uentle hand on his shoulder. "And you, too, Kerrigan. 
Yours are the key wards, and we understand that. I've 
always been sorry that the leaders couldn't agree on you 
two for something better than councilmcn; but next time 
there won't be any doubt of it, if I have any infliumr 
then." He went in and closed the door. Outside a cool 
October wind was whipping dead leaves and weed stalks 
along the pavements. Neither 1 it man nor Kerrigan spoke, 
though they had come away together, until they were tun 
hundred feet down the avenue toward Van Buren. 

"Some talk, that, eh?" commented Mr. Tiernan, eyinp 
Mr. Kerrigan in the flare of a passing gas-lamp. 

"Sure. That's the stuff they always hand out when 
they're up against it. Pretty kind words, eh' " 

"And after ten years of about the roughest work that's 
done, eh? It's about time, what? Say, it's a wonder he 



didn't think of that last June when the convention was in 

"Tush! Mikey," smiled Mr. Kerrigan, grimly. "You're 
a bad little boy. You want your pie too soon. Wait an- 
other two or four or six years, like raddy Kerrigan and the 

"Yes, I will not," growled Mr. Tiernan. "Wait '11 the 

"No more, will I," replied Mr. Kerrigan. "Say, we 
know a trick that beats that next-year business to a pulp. 

"You're dead right," commented Mr. Tiernan. 

And so they went peacefully home. 


THE interesting Polk Lyndc, rising one morning, de- 
cided that his arFair with Aileen, sympathetic 
was, must culminate in the one fashion satisfactory to him 
here and now this day, if possible, or the next. Since the 
luncheon some considerable time had elapsed, and although 
he had tried to seek her out in various ways, Aihm, 
wing to a certain feeling that she must think and not 
jeopardize her future, had evaded him. She realized well 
enough that she was at the turning of the balance, now 
that opportunity was knocking so loudly at her door, and 
she was exceedingly coy and distrait. In spite of herself the 
old grip of Cowperwood was over her the conviction th.r 
he was such a tremendous figure in the world and this 
made her strangely disturbed, nebulous, and meditative. 
Another type of woman, having troubled as much as she 
had done, would have made short work of it, particularly 
since the details in regard to Mrs. Hand had been added. 
Not so Aileen. She could not quite forget the early vows 
and promises exchanged between them, nor conquer the 
often-fractured illusions that hej might still behave him- 

On the other hand, Polk Lynde, marauder, social adven- 
turer, a bucaneer of the affections, was not so easily to be 
put aside, delayed, and J. Not unlike Cov 

wood, he was a man of real force, and his methods, in so 
is women were concerned, were even more daring. 
Long trifling with the sex had taught him that they were 
coy, uncertain, foolish Iv inconsistent in their moods, even 
with regard to what they most desired. If one contem- 
plated victory, it had frequently to be taken with an imn 



From this attitude on his part had sprung his rather dark 
fame. Aileen felt it on the day that she took lunch with 
him. His solemn, dark eyes were treacherously sweet. 
She felt as if she might be paving the way for some situa- 
tion in which she would hnd herself helpless before his 
sudden mood and yet she had come. 

But Lynde, meditating Aileen's delay, had this day de- 
cided that he should get a definite decision, and that it 
should be favorable. He calle'd her up at ten in the morn- 
ing and chafed her concerning her indecision and change- 
able moods. He wanted to know whether she would 
come and see the paintings at his friend's studio whether 
she could not make up her mind to come to a barn-dance 
h some bachelor friends of his had arranged. When 
she pleaded being out of sorts he urged her to pull herself 
together. "You re making things very difficult for your 
admirers," he suggested, sweetly. 

Aileen fancied she had postponed the struggle diplo- 
matically for some littte time without ending it, when at 
two o'clock in the afternoon her door-bell was rung and the 
name of Lynde brought up. " He said he was sure you were 
in," commented the footman, on whom had been pressed 
a dollar, "and would you see him for just a moment? 
He would not keep you more than a moment." 

Aileen, taken oft her guard by this effrontery, uncertain 
as to whether there might not be something of some slight 
import concerning which he wished to speak to her, quar- 
reling with herself because of her indecision, really fas- 
un.itrd by Lynde as a rival for her affections, and remem- 
bering his jesting, coaxing voice of the morning, decided 
to go down. She lonely, and, clad in a lavender house- 
i with an ermine collar and sleeve cuffs, was reading 
a book. 

iow him into the music-room," she said to the lackey. 
When she entered she was breathing with some slight diffi- 
cult v, for so Lynde affected her. She knew she had dis- 
pl.ived fear by not going to him before, and previous 
irdice plainly manifested does not add to one s power 
of resistance. 

"Oh!" she exclaimed, with an assumption of bravado 
h she did not t "I didn't expect to see you so 



soon after your telephone message. You have never been 
in our house before, have you? Won't you put up your 
coat and hat and come into the gallery? It's brighter there, 
and you might be interested in some of the pictures." 

Lvnde, who was seeking for any pretext whereby he 
might prolong his stay and overcome her nervous mood, 
pted, pretending, however, that he was merely passing 
and with a moment to spare. 

"Thought I'd get just one glimpse of you again. Couldn't 
resist the temptation to look in. Stunning room, isn't it? 
Spacious and there you are! Who did that? Oh, I see - 
Van Beers. And a jolly fine piece of work it is, too, 

He surveyed her and then turned back to the picture 
win- re, ten years younger, buoyant, hopeful, carrying her 
blue-and-white striped parasol, she sat on a stem U-m h 
against the Dutch background of sky and clouds. Charmed 
hv tin- put ure she presented in both cases, he was genially 
complimentary. To-day she was stouter, ruddier the 
fiber of her had hardened, as it does with so many as the 
years come on; but she was still in full bloom a little late 
in the summer, but in full bloom. 

"Oh yes; and this Rembrandt I'm surprised! I did 
not know your husband's coll vas so representative. 

Israels, I see, and Gerome, and Meissonier! Gad! It is 
a representative collection, isn't 

"Some of the things are excellent," she commented, with 
an air, aping Cowpcrwood and others, "but a number will 
be weeded out eventually that Paul Potter and this 
Goya as better examples come into the market." 

bhe had heard Cowpcrwood say as much, over and 

Finding that conversation was possible between them 
in this easy, impersonal way, Aileen became quite natural 
and interested, pleased and entertained by his discreet and 
charming presence. Evidently he did not intend to pay 
much more than a passing social call. On the other hand, 
Lynde was studying her,' wondering what effect his light, 
distant air was having. As he finished a very casual 
vey of the gallery he remarked: 

'I have always wondered about this house. I knew 



Lord did it, of course, and I always heard it was well done. 
That is the dining-room, I suppose?" 

Aileen, who had always been inordinately vain of the 
house in spite of the fact that it had proved of small use 
socially, was delighted to show him the remainder of the 
rooms. Lynde, who was used, of course, to houses of all 
degrees of material splendor that of his own family being 
one of the best pretended an interest he did not feel. 
He commented as ne went on the taste of the decorations 
and wood-carving, the charm of the arrangement that 
permitted neat brief vistas, and the like. 

"Just wait a moment," said Aileen, as they neared the 
door of her own boudoir. "I've forgotten whether mine 
is in order. I want you to see that." 

She opened it and stepped in. 

s, you may come, ' she called. 

He followed. "Oh yes, indeed. Very charming. Very 
graceful those little lacy dancing figures aren't they? A 
delightful color scheme. It harmonizes with you exactly, 
quite like you." 

He paused, looking at the spacious rug, which was of 
wiirni blues and creams, and at the gilt ormolu bed. "Well 
done," he said, and then, suddenly changing his mood 
and dropping his talk of decoration (Aileen was to his 
right, ana he was between her and the door), he added: 
"Tell me now \\l <>u come to the barn-dance 

to-night? It would be charming. You will enjoy it." 

Aileen saw the sudden change in his mood. She recog- 
nized that by showing him the rooms she had led ht 
into an easily made disturbing position. His dark engaging 
eyes told their own story. 

"Oh, I don't feel in the mood to. I haven't for a num- 
ber of things for some time. I " 

She began to move unconcernedly about him toward the 
door, but he detained her with his hand. "Don't go just 
" he said. "Let me talk to you. You always evade 
me in such a nervous way. Don t you like me at all?" 

"Oh yes, I like you; but can't we talk just as well down 
in the music-room as here? Can't I tell you why I evade 
you down there just as well as I can here?" She smiled 
a winning and now fearless smile. 



Lyndc showed his even white teeth in two gleaming 
rows. His eyes filled with a gay malumusness. 
surely," he replied; "but you re so nice in your own room 
here. I hate to leave it." 

r the same," replied Aileen, still gay, but now .slight- 
curbed also, "I think we mipht as well. You \sili 
me just as entertaining down-st.i 

She moved, but his strength, quite as Cowperwood's, was 
i too great for her. He was a strong man. 

"Really, you know," she said, "you mustn't act this way 
here. Some one might come in. What cause have I y 
\ to make you think you could do like this with n 

"What cause?" he asked, bending over her and smooth- 
ing her plump arms with his brown hands. "< >h. n<> defi- 
nite cause, perhaps. You are a cause in yourself. I told 
\"ii how sweet I thought you were, the night we were at the 
Alcott. Didn't you understand then ? I thought you did." 

, I understood that YOU liked me, and all 
haps. Any one might do that. But as for anything like 
well taking such liberties with me I never dreamed of 
it. But listen. I think I hear some one coming." Aileen, 
making a sudden vigorous effort to free herself and failing, 
added: "PltM l<-t me go, Mr. Lynde. It isn't very gal- 
lant of you, I must say, restraining a woman .iminst her 
v. ill. If I had given you any real cause I shall be anpry 
in a monv 

Again the even smiling teeth and dark, wrinkling, mali- 
cious ey 

"Really! How you go on! You would think I was a 
perfect stranger. Don't you remember what you said to 
me at lunch ? You didn't keep your promise. You j 
tically gave me to understand that you would come. Why 
didn't you? Are you afraid of me, or don't you like 
or both? I think you're delicious, splendid, and I want to 

He shifted his position, putting one arm about h< 
pulling her close to him, looking into her eyes. With the 
other he held her free arm. Suddenly he covered her 
mouth with his and then kissed her cheeks. "You care 
for me, don't you ' What did you mean by saying you 
might come, if you didn't : " 


He held her quite firm, while Aileen struggled. It was 
a new sensation this that of the other man, and this was 
Polk Lynde, the first individual outside of Cowperwood 

horn she had ever felt drawn. But now, here, in her 
nun room and it was within the range of possibilities that 

perwood might return or the servants enter. 
"Oh, but think what you are doing," she protested, not 
really disturbed as yet as to the outcome of the contest 
with him, and feeling as though he were merely trying to 
make her be sweet to him without intending anything more 
at present "here in my own room! Really, you're not the 
man I thought you were at all, if you don't instantly let 
me go. Mr. Lynde! Mr. Lynde!' (He had bent over 
and was kissing her). "Oh, you shouldn't do this! R< 
I I said I might come, but that was far from doing it. 
And to have you come here and take advantage of me in 
this way! I think you're horrid. If I ever had any interest 
in you, it is quite dead now, I can assure you. Unless you 
let me go at once, I give you my word I will never see you 
any more. 1 ' Really, 1 won't! I mean it! Oh, 

please let me go! I'll scream, I tell you! I'll never see 
you again after this day! Oh " It was an intense but 
useless struggle. 

Coming home one evening about a week later, Cowper- 
wood (found Aileen humming cheerfully, and yet also in 
a seemingly deep and reflective mood. She was just com- 
pleting an evening toilet, and looked young and colorful 
quite her avid, seeking self of earlier days. 

"Well," he asked, cheerfully, "how have things gone 
to-day r" 

AiK-rn, feeling somehow, as one will on occasions, that if 
she- had done wrong she was justified and that sometime 
because of this she might even win Cowperwood back, felt 
somew hat kindlier toward him. "Oh, very well," she replied. 
>pped in at the Hoecksemas* this afternoon for a little 
while. They're going to Mexico in November. She has 
the darlingest new basket-carriage if she only looked like 
anything when she rode in it. Etta is getting ready to 
enter Bryn Mawr. She is all fussed up about leaving her 
dog and cat. Then I went down to one of Lane Cr 



receptions, and over to Merrill's " she was referring to 
the great store "and home. I saw Taylor Lord and Polk 
Lynda together in VVabash Avenue." 

"Polk Lynde?" commented Cowperwood. "Is he in- 

"Yes, he is," replied Aileen. "I never met a man 
with such perfect manners. He's so fascinating. He's 
just like a boy, and yet, 'Heaven knows, he seems to have 
had enough worldly experience." 

"So I've heard," commented Cowperwood. "Wasn't 
he the one that was mixed up in that Carmen Torriba case 
here a few years ago?" Cowperwood was referring to the 
matter of a Spanish dancer traveling in America with 
whom Lynde had been apparently desperately in love. 

"Oh yes," replied Aileen, maliciously; ""but that 
oughtn't to make any difference to you. He's charming, 
anyhow. I like him." 

"I didn't say it did, did I? You don't object to my 
mentioning a mere incident?" 

"Oh, I know about the incident," replied Aileen, jest- 
" I know you." 

"What do you mean by that?" he asked, studying her 

"Oh, I know you," she replied, sweetly and yet defen- 
sively. "You think I'll stay here and be content while 
you run about with other women play the sweet and 
loving wife? Well, I won't. I know why you say this 
about Lynde. It's to keep me from being interested in 
him, possibly. Well, I will be if I want to. I told you I 
would be, and I will. You can do what you please about 
that. You don't want me, so why should you be disturbed 
as to whether other men are interested in me or n 

The truth was that Cowperwood was not clearly think- 
ing of any probable relation between Lynde and Aileen 
any more than he was in connection with her and any other 
man, and yet in a remote way he was sensing some one. 
It was this that Aileen felt in him, and that brought forth 
her seemingly uncalled-for comment. Cowperwood, under 
the circumstances, attempted to be as suave as possible, 
having caught the implication clearly. 

"Aileen," he cooed, "how you talk! Why do you say 



that? You know I care for you. I can't prevent any- 
thing you want to do, and I'm sure you know I don't want 
to. It's you that I want to see satisfied. You know that 
1 fare." 

"Yes, I know how you care," replied Aileen, her mood 
changing for the moment. "Don't start that old stuff, 
please. I'm sick of it. I know how you're running around. 
I know about Mrs. Hand. Even the newspapers make 
that plain. You've been home just one evening in the last 
eicht days, long enough for me to get more than a glimpse 
of you. Don't talk to me. Don't try to bill and coo. I'M 
always known. Don't think I don't know who your latest 
flame is. But don't begin to whine, and don't quarrel 
with me if I go about and get interested in other men, as 
I certainly will. It will be all your fault if I do, and you 
know it. Don't begin and complain. It won't do you any 
good. I'm not going to sit here and be made a fool of. 
I've told you that over and over. You don't believe it, 
but I'm not. I told you that I'd find some one one of these 
days, and I will. As a matter of fact, I have already." 

At this remark Cowperwood surveyed her coolly, criti- 
cally, and yet not unsympathetically; but she swung out 
of the room with a defiant air before anything could be 
said, and went down to the music-room, from whence a 
few moments later there rolled up to him from the hall 
below the strains of the second Hungarian Rhapsodic, feel- 
ingly and for once movingly played. Into it Aileen put 
of her own wild woe and misery. Cowperwood hated 
the thought for the moment that some one as smug as 
Lvnde so good-looking, so suave a society rake should 
interest Aileen; but if it must be, it must be. He could 
have no honest reason for complaint. At the same time a 
breath of real sorrow for the days that had gone swept over 
him. He remembered her in Philadelphia in her red cape 
as a school-girl in his father's house out horseback-rid- 
ing, driving. What a splendid, loving girl she had been 
such a sweet fool of love. Could she really have decided 
not to worry about him any more? Could it be possible 
that she might find some one else who would be interested 
in her, and in whom she would take a keen interest? It was 
an odd thought for him. 



He watched her as she came into the dining-room later, 
arrayed in green silk of the shade of copper patina, her hair 
done in a high coil and in spite of himself he could not 
help admiring her. She looked very young in her soul, and 
yet moody loving (for some one), eager, and defiant. 
He reflected for a moment what terrible things passion and 
love are how they make fools of us all. "All of us are in 
the grip of a great creative impulse," he said to himself. 
He talked of other things for a while the approaching elec- 
tion, a poster-wagon he had seen bearing the question, 
"' Shall Cowperwood own the city ?" " Pretty cheap politics, 
I call that," he commented. And then he told of stopping 
in a so-called Republican wigwam at State and Sixteenth 
streets a great, cheaply erected, unpainted wooden shack 
with seats, and of hearing himself bitterly denounced by the 
reigning orator. " I was tempted once to ask that donkey 
a few questions," he added, "but I decided I wouldn't." 

Aileen had to smile. In spite of all his faults he was such 
a wonderful man to set a city thus by the ears. "Yet, 
what care I how fair he be, if he be not fair to me." 

"Did you meet any one else besides Lynde you liked?" 
he finally asked, archly, seeking to gather further data 
without stirring up too much feeling. 

Aileen, who had been studying him, feeling sure the sub- 
ject would come up again, replied: "No, I haven't; but 
I don't need to. One is enough." 

"What do you mean by that?" he asked, gently. 

"Oh, just what I say. One will do." 

"You mean you are in love with Lynde?" 

"I mean on!" She stopped and surveyed him de- 
fiantly. "What difference does it make to you what I 
mean? Yes, I am. But what do you care? Why do you 
sit there and question me? It doesn't make any difference 
to you what I do. You don't want me. Why should you 
sit there and try to find out, or watch? It hasn't been any 
consideration for you that has restrained me so far. Sup- 
pose I am in love? What difference would it make to 

"Oh, I care. You know I care. Why do you say that?" 

"Yes, you care," she flared. "I know now you care. 
Well, I'll just tell you one thing" rage at his indifference 



was driving her on "I am in love with Lynde, and what's 
more, I'm his mistress. And I'll continue to be. But 
what do you care? Pshaw!" 

Her eyes blazed hotly, her color rose high and strong. 
She breathed heavily. 

At this announcement, made in the heat of spite and 
rage generated by long indifference, Cowperwood sat up 
for a moment, and his eyes hardened with quite that im- 
placable glare with which he sometimes confronted an 
enemy. He felt at once there were many things he could 
do to make her life miserable, and to take revenge on Lynde, 
but he decided after a moment he would not. It was not 
weakness, but a sense of superior power that was moving 
him. Why should he be jealous? Had he not been un- 
kind enough? In a moment his mood changed to one of 
sorrow for Aileen, for himself, for life, indeed its tangles 
of desire and necessity. He could not blame Aileen. Lynde 
was surely attractive. He had no desire to part with her 
or to quarrel with him merely to temporarily cease all in- 
timate relations with her and allow her mood to clear itself 
up. Perhaps she would want to leave him of her own ac- 
cord. Perhaps, if he ever found the right woman, this 
might prove good grounds for his leaving her. The right 
woman where was she? He had never found her yet. 

"Aileen," he said, quite softly, "I wish you wouldn't 
feel so bitterly about this. Why should you? When did 
you do this? Will you tell me that?" 

"No, I'll not tell you that," she replied, bitterly. " It's 
none of your affair, and I'll not tell you. Why should you 
ask? You don't care." 

" But I do care, I tell you," he returned, irritably, almost 
roughly. "When did you? You can tell me that, at 
least." His eves had a hard, cold look for the moment, 
dying away, though, into kindly inquiry. 

"Oh, not long ago. About a week," Aileen answered, as 
though she were compelled. 

"How long have you known him?" he asked, curiously. 

"Oh, four or five months, now. I met him last 

"And did you do this deliberately because you were 
in love with him, or because you wanted to hurt me?" 



He could not believe from past scenes between them 
that she had ceased to love him. 

Aileen stirred irritably. "I like that," she flared. "I 
did it because I wanted to, and not because of any lov 
you I can tell you that. I like your nerve sitting here 
presuming to question me after the way you have neglected 
me." She pushed back her plate, and made as if to 
get up. 

"Wait a minute, Aileen," he said, simply, putting down 
his knife and fork and looking across the handsome table 
where Sevres, silver, fruit, and daintv dishes were spread, 
and where under silk-shaded lights tney sat opposite each 
other. "I wish you wouldn't talk that way to me. You 
know that I am not a petty, fourth-rate fool. You know, whatever you do, 1 am not going to quarrel with you. 
I know what the trouble is with you. I know why you are 
acting this way, and how you will feel afterward if vou go 
on. I :u -thing 1 will do He paused, caught by a 

wave of feel i 

"Oh, isn't it?" she blazed, trying to overcome the emo- 
tion thatwas :i herself. The calmness of him stir n <1 
up memories of the past. "Well, you keep your sympa- 
for yourself. I don't need it. I will get along. I 
vou wouldn't talk to me." 

She shoved her plate away with such force that she upset 
a glass in which was champagne, the wine making a frayed, 
yellowish splotch on the wnire linm, and, rising, hurried 
toward the door. She was choking with anger, pain, shame, 

Aileen! Aileen!" he called, hurrying after her, regard- 
less of the butler, who, hearing the sound of stirrir. 
had entered. These family woes were an old story to him. 
love you want not revenge. I know I can tell. 
You want to be loved by some one completely. I'm 
You mustn't be too hard on me. I snaVt be on you." 
He seized her by the arm and detained her as they entered 
the next room. By this time Aileen was too ablaze with 
emotion to talk sensibly or understand what he was doing. 

"Let me go!" she exclaimed, angrily, hot tears in her 
eyes. "Let me go! I tell you I don't love you any more. 
I tell you I hate you!" She flung herself loose and stood 



erect before him. "I don't want you to talk to me! I 
don't want you to speak to me! You're the cause of all 
my troubles. You're the cause of whatever I do, when I 
do it, and don't you dare to deny it! You'll seel You'll 
see! I'll show you what I'll dor 

She twisted and turned, but he held her firmly until, in 
his strong grasp, as usual, she collapsed and began to cry. 
"Oh, I cry," she declared, even in her tears, "but it will be 
just the same. It's too late! too late!" 



THE stoic Cowperwood, listening to the blare and ex- 
citement that went with the fall campaign, was much 
more pained to learn of Aileen's desertion than to know that 
he had arrayed a whole social element against himself in 
Chicago. He could not forget the wonder of those first 
days when Aileen was young, and love and hope had been 
the substance of her being. The thought ran through 
all his efforts and cogitations like a distantly or 
tratcd undertone In rhc main, in spite of his acti 
he was an introspective man, and art, drama, and r he- 
pa thos of broken ideals were not beyond him. He har- 
bored in no way any grudge against Aileen only a kind 
of sorrow over the inevitable consequences of his own un- 
governable disposition, the will to freedom within him- 
self. Change! Change! the inevitable passing of things! 
Who parts with a perfect thing, even if no more than an 
unreasoning love, without a touch of self-pity? 

But there followed swiftly the sixth of November, \M t h 
its election, noisy and irrational, and the latter resulted in 
a resounding defeat. Out of the thirty-two Demo* 
aldermen nominated only r.n were elected, giving the op- 
position a full two-thirds majority in council, Messrs. 
Tiernan and Kerrigan, of course, being safely in their 
places. With them came a Repnl In .m mayor and all his 
Republican associates on the ticket, who were now supposed 
to carry out the theories of the respectable and the virtu- 
ous. Cowperwood knew what it meant and prepared at 
once to make overtures to the enemv. From McKcntv 
and others he learned by degrees the full story of Tiernan s 
and Kerrigan's treachery, but he did not store it up bitter- 
ly against them. Such was life. They must be looked 



after more carefully in future, or caught in some trap 
utterly undone. According to their own accounts, they had 
barely managed to scrape through. 

"Look at meself! I only won by three hundred vot 
archly declared Mr. Kerrigan, on divers and sundry oc- 
casions. "By God, I almost lost me own ward!" 

Mr. Tiernan was equally emphatic. "The police was 
no good to me," he declared, firmly. "They let the otru-r 
vs beat up me men. I only polled six thousand \\ iu n 
I should have had nine." 

But no one believed them. 

While McKenty meditated as to how in two years he 
should be able to undo this temporary victory, and Cow- 
pcrwood was deciding that conciliation was the best policy 
for him, Schryhart, Hand, and Arneel, joining hands 
y<>ung MacDonald, were wondering how they could make 
sure this party victory would cripple Cowperwood 
and permanently prevent him from returning to power. It 
was a long, intricate fight that followed, hut ir m\ 
(before Cowperwood could possibly reach the new alder- 
men) a proposed rein t rod uction and passage of the much- 
opposed General Electric franchise, the granting 
.in*! privileges in outlying districts to various minor > 
panies, and last and worst a thing which had not previous 
iy dawned on Cowperwood as in any way probable the 
projection of an ordinance granting to a certain South 
Side corporation the privilege of erecting and operat- 
ing an elevated road. This was as severe a blow as 
any that had yet been dealt Cowperwood, for it introd 
a new factor and complication into the Chicago street- 
railw.iy siui.mon which hitherto, for all ibles, 

been comparatively simple. 

In order to make this plain it should be said that some 
eighteen <>r twenty years before in New York th< i 
been devised and erected a series of elevated roads calcu- 
lated to relieve the congestion of traffic on the lower por- 
tion of that long and narrow island, and they had proved 
an immense success. Cowperwood had been <d in 

them, along with everything else which pertained to public 
street tr.< n the very beginning. In his various trips 



to New York he had made a careful physical inspection of 
them. He knew all about their incorporation, backers, tin- 
expense connected with them, tlu-ir returns, and so forth. 
Personally, in so far as New York was concerned, he 
sidercd them an ideal solution of traffic on that crowded 
island. Here in Chicago, where the population was as 
yet comparatively sm. ill verging now toward a million, 
and widely scattered over a great area he did not feel they would be profitable certainly not for some years 
to come. What traffic thev gained would be taken from 
the surface lines, and if he built them he would be merely 
doubling his expenses to halve his profits. From time to 
time he had contemplated the possibility of their being built 
by other men providing they could secure a franchise, 
whu h previous to the late election had not seemed prob- 
able and in this Connection he had once said to Add: 
"Let them sink their money, and about the time the popu- 
lation is sufficient to support the lines they will have been 
driven into the hands of receivers. That will simply chase 
the game into my bag, and I can buy them for a mere song." 
With this conclusion Addison had agreed. But since tins 
conversation circumstances made the construction of these 
elevated roads far less prpblemar 

In the first place, public interest in the idea of elevated 
roads was increasing. They were a novelty, a factor in the 
life of New York; and a rnc rivalry with the great 

cosmopolitan heart was very keen in the mind of the aver- 
age Chicago citizen. Public sentiment in this dire* 
however naive or unworthy, was nevertheless sufficient to 
make any elevated road in Chicago popular for the time 
being. In the second place, it so happened that because of 

tide of municipal enthusiasm, this rcnaiss 
of the West, Chicago had finally been chosen, at a date 
ly preceding the present campaign, as the favored 
city for an enormous international fair quite the largest 
ever given in America. Men such as Hand, Schryhart, 
Merrill, and Arneel, to say nothing of the various news- 
paper publishers and editors, had been enth sup- 
porters of the project, and in this Cowperwood had been 
one with them. No sooner, however, had the award 
actually been granted than Cowperwood's enemies made 



it their first concern to utilize the situation against 

begin with, the site of the fair, by aid of the new anti- 

Cowperwood council, was located on the South Side, at 

the terminus of the Schryhart line, thus making the whole 

pay tribute to that corporation. Simultaneously the 

thought suddenly dawned upon the Schryhart faction 

iKl be an excellent stroke of business if the New York 
elevated-road idea were now introduced into the e 
not so much with the purpose of making money immediate- 
ly, but in order to bring the hated magnate to an under- 

ing that he had a formidable rival which might in- 
vade the territory that he now monopolized, curtailing his 
profits and thus making it advisable for him to close out 
nis holdings and depart. Bland and interesting were the 
conferences held bv Mr. Schryhart with Mr. Hand, and 
by Mr. Hand with Mr. Arneel on this subject. Their plan 
as first outlined was to build an elevated road on the South 
Side south of the proposed fair-grounds and once that 
popular having previously secured franchises which 
would cover the entire field, West, South, and North to 
nut the others at thru . and so to bid Mr. 

Cowperwood a sweet and smiling adieu. 

Cowpcrwood, awaiting the assembling of the new city 
council one month after election, did not propose to wait 
in peace and quiet until the enemy should strike at him 
unprepared. Calling those familiar agents, his corporation 
attorneys, around him, he was shortly informed of the m-\\ 
elevated-road idea, and it gave him a real shock. Obvious- 
ly Hand and Schryhart were now in deadly earnest. At 
once he dictated a letter to Mr. Gilgan asking him to call 
at his office. At the' same time he hurriedly adjured his 
advisers to use due diligence in discovering what influc 
could be brought to bear on the new mayor, the honorable 
. er Sluss, to cause him to veto the ordinances 
in rase they came before him to effect in him, indeed, a 
total change of heart. 

The Hon. Chaffee Thayer Sluss, whose attitude in this 
instance was to prove crucial, was a tall, shapely, some- 
what grandiloquent person who took himself and his to 



and commercial opportunities and doings in the most 
serious and, as it were, elevated light. You know, per- 
haps, the type of man or woman who, raised in an at 
phere of comparative comfort and some small social pre- 
tension, and being short of those gray convolutions b 
human brain-pan which permit an individual to see life 
in all its fortuitousness and uncertainty, proceed because 
of an absence of necessity and the consequent lack of hu- 
man experience to take themselves and all that they do in 
thr most reverential and Providence-protected spirit. The 
OiaflTee Thayer Sluss reasoned that, because of the 
splendid ancestry on which he prided himself, he was an 
essentially honest m.m. His father had amassed a small 
fortune in the wholesale harness business. The wife whom 
at the age of twenty-eight he had married a prettv but in- 
consequential type of woman was the daughter of a pickle 
manufacr hose wares were in some demand and whose 

children had been considered good "catches" in the neigh- 
borhood from which the Hon. Chaffee Sluss emanated. 
There had been a highly conservative wedding feast, and 

:ieymoon tn; ( harden of the Gods and the Grand 

Then the sleek Chaffee, much in the grace of both 
families because of his smug determination to rise in the 
world, had returned to his husincss. \\hich was that of a 
paper-broker, and had begun with the greatest care to 
amass a competence on his own account. 

I lie Honorable Chaffee, be it admitted, had no particular 
faults, unless those of smugness and a certain over-careful- 
ness as to his own prospects and opportunities can be 

ited as such. But he had one weakness, whu l 
of his young wife's stern and somewhat Puritanic ideas 
and the religious propensities of his father and father- 
in-law, was exceedingly disturbing to him. He had an eve 

he beauty of women in general, and particularly for 
plump, blonde women with corn-colored hair. Now and 
then, in spite of the fact that he had an ideal wife and tu. 
lovely children, he would cast a meditative and speculative 
eye after those alluring forms that cross the path of all 
men and that seem to beckon slyly by imp!; if not 

by actual, open suggest i 

However, it was not until several years after Mr. Sluss 



had married, and when he might have been considered set- 
tled in the ways of righteousness, that he actually essayed to 
any extent the role of a gay Lothario. An experience or 
two with the less vigorous and vicious girls of the sti 
a tentative love affair with a girl in his office who was not 
new to the practices she encouraged, and he was : 
launched. He lent himself at first m the great folly of 

tiding to love truly; but thi iken by om 

anot I: 'igent young woman with a grain of salt. The 

entertainment and preferment he could provide were ac- 
cepted as sufficient reward. One girl, however, actually 
seduced, had to be compensated by five th<>! <! 
and that after such terrors and heartaches (his wife, her 
family, and his own looming up horribly in the 1 
ground) as should have cured him forever of a penchant 
for stenographers and employees generally. Thereafter for 

;ig time he confined himself strictly to such acquaint- 
ances as he could make through agents, brokers, and manu- 
facturers who did business with him, and who occasionally 
invited him to one form of bacchanalian feast or another. 

As time went on he became wiser, if, alas, a little more 
eager. By association with merchants and some superior 
politicians whom he chanced to encounter, and because the 
h he lived happened to be a pivotal one, he- 
began to speak publicly on occasion and to gather dimlv 
the import of that logic which sees life as a pagan \vild, 
and r and convention as the forms man p; 

off to suit his fancy, mood, and whims during the onward 
drift of the ages. Not for Chaffec Thayer Sluss to grasp 
the true meaning of it all. His brain was not big en- 
Men led dual !iv-s. it was true; but say what you would, 
and in the face of his own erring conduct, this was very bad. 

mnday, when he went to church with his wife, he felt 
was essential and purifying. In his own IUIM- 
he found himself frequently confronted by various 
little flaws of Io<.:ic relating to undue profits, misrr; 
1 the hkr; hut say what you would, nc\ 

notwithstanding, God was God, morality was- superior, 
the church was important. It wrong to yield to one's 
impi he found it so fascinating to do. One should 

be better than his neighbor, or pretend to be. 



What is to be done with such a rag-bag, moralistic ass 
as this? In spite of all his phil.mde rings, and the resultant 
qualms due to his fear of being found out, he prospered in 
icss and rose to some eminence in his .\\n community. 
As he had grown more lax he had become somewhat more 
genial .mil tolerant, more generally acceptable. He was a 
good Republic. m, a follower in the wake of Norrie Simms 
and young Truman Leslie MacDpnald. His father-in-law 
was both rich and moderately influential. Having lent 
himself to some campaign speaking, and to partv work in 

ral, he proved quite an adept. Because of all 
things his ability, such as it was, his pliability, and his 
thoroughly respectable savor he had been slated as candi- 
date for mayor on the Republican ticket, which had sub- 
scouently been elect 

Cowperwood was well aware, from remarks made in the 
previous campaign, <>f the derogatory attitude of Mayor 
Sluss. Already he had discussed it in a converse 
the Hon. Joel Avery (ex-state senator), who was in his 
employ at the time. Avery had recently been in all sorts 
of corporation work, and knew the ins and outs of the 
courts lawyers, judges, politicians as he knew his re- 
vised statutes. He was a very little man not more th.m 
five feet one inch tall with a wide forehead, saffron h.ur 
and brows, brown, cat-like eyes and a mushv under lip 
occasionally covered the upper one as ne thought. 
After years and years Mr. Avery nad learned to smile, but 
it was in a strange, exotic way. Mostly he gazed steadily, 
folded his lower lip over his upper one, and expressed 
his almost unchangeable conclusions in slow Addisom;m 
phrases. In the present crisis it was Mr. Avery who had 
a suggestion to make. 

"One thing that I think could be done," he said to Cow- 
perwood one day in a very confidential conference, "would 
be to have a look into the the shall I sav the heart 
affairs of the Hon. ChafFec Thayer Sluss." Mr. Avcry's 
cat-like eyes gleamed sardonically. "Unless I am greatly 
mistaken, judging the man by his personal presence merely, 
he is the sort of person who probably has had, or if not 
might readily be induced to have, some compromising affair 
with a woman which would require considerable sacrifice 



on his part to smooth over. We are all human and vulner- 
able" up went Mr. Avery's lower lip covering the upper 
one, and then down again "and it does not behoove any 
of us to be too severely ethical and self-righteous. Mr. Sluss 
if a well-meaning man, but a trifle sentimental, as 1 1 A 

As Mr. Avery paused Cowperwood merely contemplated 
him, amused no less by his personal appearance than by 
his suggestion. 

"Not a bad idea," he said, "though I don't like to mix 
heart affairs with politics." 

"Yes," said Mr. Avery, soulfully, "there may be some- 
thing in it. I don't know. You never can t 

The upshot of this was that the task of obtaining an ac- 
count of Mr. Sluss's habits, tastes, and proclivities was as- 
signed to that now rather dignified legal personage, Mr. 
Burton Stimson, who in turn assigned it to an assistant, a 
Mr. Marchbanks. It was an amazing situation in some 
respects, but those who know anything concerning the in- 
tricacies of politics, finance, and corporate control, as they 
were practised in those palmy days, would never marvel 
at the wells of subtlety, sinks of misery, and morasses of 
disaster which they represented. 

From another quarter, the Hon. Patrick Gilgan was not 
m responding to Cowpcrwood's message. Whatever 
his political connections and proclivities, he did not care 
to neglect so powerful a m.m. 

"And what can I be doing for you to-day, Mr. Cowper- 
wood?" he inquired, when he arrived looking nice and t'- 
very spick and span after his victory. 

M. Mr. Gilgan," said Cowperwood, simply, eying 
the Republican county chairman very fixedly and twiddling 
his thumbs with fingers interlocked, "are you going to let 
the city council jam through the General Electric and 
South Side 4 L* road ordinance without giving me a chance 
to say a word or do anything about itr 

Mr. Gilgan, so Cowperwood knew, was only one of a new 
quadrumvirate setting out to rule the city, but he pretended 
to believe that he was the last word an all power and 
authority after the fashion of McKenty. 

"Me good man," replied (lil^an, archly, "you flatter me. 



1 li.ivm't the cit il in me vest pocket. I've been 

rountv ue, and helped to elect some of 

these men, I n. Why shouldn't they pass 

the General Electric ordinance? It's an horn ance, 

as far as I know. All the newspapers have been for it. 
As for tl; ad ordinance, I h.. ng to do 

with ir It isn't .iir.ihmg I know much about. Young 
MacDonald and Mr. Schryhart are looking after that." 

As a matter of fact, all that Mr. Gilgan was saying was 
decidedly true. A henchman of young MacDonald's who 
was beginning to learn to play politicsan alderman bv 
the name of Klemm had been scheduled as a kind of field- 
m.iishal, and it was MacDonald n man, 

Kerrigan, or Edstrom who was to round up the re- 
r aldermen, telling them their dir nan's 

quadrumviiate had not as yet p machine in good 

working order, though they were doing their best to ! 
this about. "1 h-i; .l r<> elect every one of these men, 
it's true; but that aoesn't mean I'm running 'cm by any 
means," concluded Gilgan. "Not yet, anyhow." 

At the "not yet" Cowperwood smiled. 

"Just the same, Mr. Gilgan," he went on, smoothly, 
"you're the nominal head and front of this whole movement 
in opposition TO me at present, and you're the one I h.ivr 
to look t n have this present Republican situation 

almost <: :i vour own fingers, and you can do about 

as you like if you re so minded. If vou choose you can 
persuade the members of council r< take considerable more 
time than they otherwise would in passing these ordi- 
nances of that I'm sure. I don't know whether you k 
or not, Mr. ' hough I suppose you do, that this 

tiuht against me is a strike campaign intended to 
drive me out of Chicago. Now you're a man of sense and 
judgment and considerable business experience, and I 
want to ask you if you think that is fair. I came h< n 
some sixteen or seventeen years ago and went into the gas 
business. It was an open he M. 1 I undertook to 

develop outlying towns on the North, South, and West 
sides. Yet the moment I started the old-line comp 
began to fight me, though I wasn't invading their territory 
at all at the tin 



I remember it well enough," replied Giln "I 
one of the men that helped you to get your Hyde 1 
f ranch i.M-. You'd ne\ it it hadn't been for 

me. Thar fellow McKibben," added Gilgan, with a 
grin, "a likely chap, him. He always walked as if 

id on rubber shoes. He's with you yet, I sup- 

"Yes, he's around here somewhere," replied Cowper- 
wood, loftily. "But to go back to this other matter, most 
of the men that are behind this (u-ru ral Klectric ordinance 
and this *L* road franchise were in the gas business 
Blackman, Jules, Baker, Schryhart, and others and 
are angry because I came into their field, and angrier still 
because they had eventually to buy me out. Th 
angry because I reorganized these old - fashioned street- 
railway companies here and put them on their feet. Merrill 
is angry because I didn't run a loop around his store, and 
the others are angry because I ever got a loop at all. 

're all angry because I managed to step in and do the 
things that t: iM have done long before. I came 

here and that's the whole story in a nutshell. I'v< 
to have the city council with me to be able to do anything 
at all, and because I managed to make it friendly and keep 
it so they've turned on me in that section and gone into 

cs. I know well enough, Mr. Gilgan," concluded 

Cowperwood, "who has been behind you in this fight. 

I've known all along where the money has been coming from. 

You've won, and you've won handsomely, and I for one 

begrudge you your victory in the least; but what I 

. are you going to help them carry this 

on against me in this way, or are vou not? Are you 
going to give me a fighting chance? There's ro be 

another election in two years. Politics isn't a bed of roses 
that stays made just because vou make it once. I 
fellows that you have got in with are a crowd of silk stock- 

They haven't any sympathy with you or 
like vou. They're willing to be friendly u now- 

long enough to get something out of you and club me 
to death. But after that how lone do you think they will 
have any use for you how 1 

"Not very long, maybe," replied Gilgan, simply and c 



templatively, "but the world is the world, and we have to 
take it as we find it." 

"Quite so," replied Cowperwood, undismayed; "but 
L;O is Chicago, and I will be here as long as they will. 
Fighting me in this fashion building elevated roads to cut 
into my profits and giving franchises to rival companies 
isn't going to get me out or seriously injure me, either. 
I'm here to stay, and the political situation as it is to-day 
isn't going to remain the same forever and ever. Now, 
you are an ambitious man; I can see that. You're not in 
politics for your health that I know. Tell me exactly it is you want and whether I can't get it for you as 
quick if not quicker than these other fellows? What is 
it I can do for you that will make you see that my side is 
just as good as theirs and better? I am playing a legiti- 
mate game in Chicago. I've been building up an excellent 
street-car service. 1 don't want to be annoyed every 
fifteen minutes by a rival company coming into the field. 
Now, what can I do to straighten this out? Isn't there 
some way that you and I can come together without fipht- 
ing at every step? Can't you suggest some programme 
we can both follow that will make things easierr 

Cowperwood caused, and Gilgan thought for a long time. 
It was true, as Cowperwood said, that he was not in politics 
for his health. The situation, as at present conditioned, 
was not inherently favorable for the brilliant programme he 
had originally mapped out for himself. Tiernan, Kerrigan, 
and Edstrom were friendly as yet; but they were already 
making extravagant demands; and the reformers t) 
who had been led by the newspapers to believe that Cow- 
perwood was a scoundrel and all his works vile were de- 
manding that a strictly moral programme be adhered to in 
all the doings of council, and that no jobs, contracts, or 
deals of any kind be entered into without the full knowl- 
edge of the newspapers and of the public, (iilcan, even 
after the first post-election conference with his colleagues, 
had begun to feel that he was between the devil and the 
deep sea, but he was feeling his way, and not inclined to be 
in too much of a hurry. 

"It's rather a flat proposition you're makin* me," he 
said softly, after a time, "askin* me to throw down me 



friends the moment I've won a victory for 'em. It's not 
the way I've been used to playin' politics. There may be 
a lot ot truth in what you say. Still, a man can't be jump- 
in' around like a cat in a bag. He has to be faithful to 
somebody sometime." Mr. Gilgan paused, considerably 
nonplussed by his own position. 

"Well," replied Cowperwood, sympathetically, "think 
it over. It's difficult business, this business of politics. 
I'm in it, for one, only because I have to be. If you see 
any way you can help me, or I can help you, let me know. 
In the mean time don'r r At- in bad part what I've just s.iul. 
I'm in the position of a man with his back to the wall. 
I'm fighting for my life. Naturally, I'm going to fight. 
But you and I needn't be the worse friends for that. We 
become the best of friends > 

It's well I know that," said Gilgan, "and it's the best 
of friends I'd like to be with you. But even if I could 
take care of the aldermen, which I couldn't alone as yet, 
there's the mayor. I don't know him at all except to say 
how-do-ye-do now and then; but he's very much opposed 
u, .is I limit rst.ind it. He'll be running around most 
likely and talking in the papers. A man like that can do 

I may be able to arrange for that," replied Cowper- 
wood. "Perhaps Mr. Sluss can be reached. It may be 
that he isn't as opposed to me as he thinks he is. You 
never can tell." 



I.IVER MARCHBANKS, the youthful fox to whom 
nson had assigned tin- task of trapping Mr. 

luss in some legally unsanctioned act, had by scurry- 
ing about r:: reed together enough of a stor 
make it exceedingly unpleasant for the Honorable Chaffee 
in case he were to become the too willing tool of Cowpcr- 
wood's enemies. The principal agent in this affair was a 
certain Claudia Carlstadt adventuress, detective by 
position, and a sort of smiling prostitute and hireling, who 
was at the same time a highly presentable and experienced 
individual. Needless to say, Cowpcrwood knew nothing of 
these nu n<>r proceedings, though a genial nod from him m 
the beginning had set in motion the whole machinery of 
trespass in this respect. 

Claudia Carlstadt the instrument of the Honorable 
Chaffee's undoing was blonde, slender, notably fresh as 
yet, being only twenty-six, and as ruthless and unconsciously 
.is only the avaricious and unthinking type unthink- 
ing in the larger philosophic meaning of the word can be. 
To grasp the reason for her being, one would have had to 
see the spiritless South Halstead Street world from whu-h 
she had sprung one of those neighborhoods of old, cracked, 
and battered nouses where slatterns trudge to and fro 
beer-cans and shutters swing on broken hinges. In her 
youth Claudia had been made to "rush the growler 
sell newspapers at the corner of Halstead and Har 
streets, and to buv cocaine at the nearest drug store. I It T 
little dresses and underclothing had always been of the 
poorest and shabbiest material torn and r ragged 

stockings frequently showed the white flesh of her thin litrlc 
legs, and her shoes were worn and cracked, letting the water 



and snow seep through in winter. Her companions were 
hcd little street boys of her own neighborhood, from 
\shorn she learned to swear and to understand and in- 
dulge in vile practices, though, as is often the case with 
iren, she was not utterly depraved thereby, at that. 
At eleven, when her mother died, she ran away from 
tin- wretched children's home to which she had been com- 
mitted, and by putting up a piteous tale she was har- 
bored on the West Side by an Irish family whose two 
daughters were clerks in a large retail store. ugh these 

Claudia became a cash-girl. Thereafter followed an in- 
dividual career as strange and checkered as anything 
had gone before. Sufficient to say that Claudia's native 
intelligence was considerable. At the age of twenty sin 
had managed through her connections with the son of a 
shoe manufacturer and with a rich jeweler to amass a 
little cash and an extended wardrobe. It was then that 
a handsome young Western Congressman, newly elected, 
inviu-d her to Washington to take a position in a govern- 
ment bureau. This necessitated a knowledge of stenog- 
raphy and typewriting, which she soon acquired. Later 
duced by a Western Sena tor into that form of 
secret service which has no connection with legitimate 
government, but which is profitable. She was used to ex- 
tract secrets by flattery and cajolery where ordinary bri- 
bery would not avail. A matter of tracing the secret fry 
cial connections of an Illinois Congressman finally brought 
her back to Chicago, and here young Stimson encountered 
her. From him she learned of the political and tin. 
conspiracy against Cowperwood, ana was in an odd man- 
ner fascinated. From her Congressmen friends she already 
knew something of Sluss. Stimson indicated that it would 
be worth two or three thousand dollars and expens 
the mayor were successfully compromised. Thus Claudia 
fa ilt was gently navigated into Mr. Sluss's glowing 

I he matter was not so difficult of accomplishment. 
Through the Hon. Joel Avery, Marchbanks secured a letter 
a political fnend of Mr. Sluss in behalf of a young 
; >ranlv embarrassed, a competent stenog- 
rapher, and the like who wished a place under the new 



administer M Thus equipped, Claudia presented her- 
self at the mayor's office armed for the fray, as it were, in 
a fetching black silk of a strangely heavy grain, her thr 
and fingers ornamented with simple pe.uls, her yellow hair 
arranged about he r temples in exquisite curls. Mr. Sluss 
was very busy, but made an appoinmunr. The next 
time she appeared a yellow and red velvet rose had been 
added to her corsage. She was a shapely, full-bosomed 
young woman who had acquired the art of walking, sin MIL-. 
standing, and bending after the most approved theories 
of the Washington cocotte. Mr. Sluss was interested at 
once, but circumspect and careful. He was now mayor of 
a great city, the cynosure of all eyes. It seemed to him 
ing already met Mrs. Brandon, as the 
lady styled herself, and she reminded him where. It had 
been two years before in the grill of the Richelieu. He 
immediately recalled details of the interesting occasion. 

"Ah, yes, and since then, as I understand jr. v>u mar- 
ried and your husband died. Most unfortunate/ 

Mr. Sluss had a large international manner suited, as he 
th< a man in so exalted a posit 

Mrs. Brandon nodded resignedly. Her eyebrows and 
lashes were carefully darkened so as to sweeten the lines 
of her face, and a dimple had been made in one cheek by 
the aid of an on '<. She was the picture of delicate 

femininity appealingly distressful, and yet to all appearance 
commercially competent. 

"At the time 1 met you you were connected with the 
government servu e in Washington, I believe." 

"Yes, I had a small place in the Treasury Department, 
but this new administration put me out." 

She lifted her eyes and leaned forward, thus bringing her 
torso into a ravishing position. She had the air of one who 
has done many things besides work in the Treasury Depart- 
ment. No least detail, as she observed, was lost on Mr. 
Sluss. He noted her shoes, which were button patent leather 
with cloth tops; her gloves, which were glace black kid 
with white stitching at the back and fastened by dark- 
garnet buttons; the coral necklace worn on this occasion. 
and her yellow and red velvet rose. Evidently a trig and 
hopeful widow, even if so recently bereaved. 



"Let me sec," mused Mr. Sluss, "where are you living? 
Just let me make a note of your address. This is a very 
nice letter from Mr. Barry. Suppose you give me a few 
days to think what I can dp? This is Tuesday. Come in 
again on Friday. I'll sec if anything suggests itself." 

He strolled with her to the official door, and noted that 
her step was light and springy. At parting she turned a 
very melting gaze upon him, and at once he decided that 
if he could he would find her something. She was the most 
fascinating applicant that had yet appeared. 

The end of Chaffec Thayer Sluss was not far distant after 
tins. Mrs. Brandon returned, as requested, her costume 
enlivened rhis time by a red-silk petticoat which contrived 
to show its ingratiating flounces beneath the glistening 
black broadcloth of her skirt. 

"Say, did you get on to that?" observed one of the door- 
men, a hold-over from the previous regime, to another of 
the same vintage. "Some style to the new administra- 
hey? We re not so slow, do you think?" 

He pulled his coat together and fumbled at his collar 

to give himself an air of smartness, and gazed gaily at his 

icr, both of them over sixty and dusty specimens, at 

I he <>ther poked him in the stom "Hold your 

horses there, Bill. Not so fast. \\V ain't got a real start 
yet. Give us another six months, and then watch o 

Mr. Sluss was pleased to see Mrs. Brandon. He had 
spoken to John Bastienelli, the new commissioner of taxes, 
whose offices were directly over the way on the same hull, 
and the latter, seeing that he might want favors of the mayor 
later on, had volubly agreed to take care of the lady. 

" I am very glad to be able to give you this letter to Mr. 
Bastienelli," commented Mr. Sluss, as he rang for a stenog- 
rapher, "not only for the sake of my old friend Mr. Barry, 
but for your own as well. Do you know Mr. Barry very 
well?" he asked, curiously. 

"Only slightly," admitted Mrs. Brandon, feeling that 
Mr Sluss would be glad to know she was not very intimate 
rhose who were recommending her. "I was sent to 
him by a Mr. Amcrman." (She named an entirely ficti- 
tious personage.) 



Mr. Sluss was relieved. As he handed her the note she 
once more surveyed him with those grateful, persuasive, 
appealing eyes. They made him almost dizzy, and set 
up a chemical perturbation in his blood which quite dis- 
pi-IU-d his good resolutions in regard to the strange woman 
and his need of being circumspr 

"You say you are living on the North Side?" he inquired, 
smiling weakly, almost foolishly. 

I have taken such a nice little apartment over- 
looking Lincoln Park. I didn't know whetner I was going 
to be able to keep it up, but now that I have this position 
You've been so very kind to me, Mr. Sluss," she concluded, 
with the same I-necd-to-be-carcd-for air. "I hope you 
won't forget me entirely. If I could be of any per^ 
service to you at any timey " 

Mr. Sluss was rather beside himself at the thought that 
this charming baggage of femininity, having come so close 
for the minute, was now passing on and might disappear 
entirely. By a great effort of daring, as they walked tow- 
ard the door, he managed to say: "I shall have to look 
into that little place of yours sometime and see how you 
are getting along. I live up that way myself." 

"Oh, do!" she exclaimed, warmly. "It would be so 
kind. I am practically alone in the world. Perhaps you 

Flay cards. I know how to make a most wonderful punch, 
snould like you to see how cozily I am settled." 

At this Mr. Sluss, now completely in tow of his principal 
weakness, capitulated. "I will," he said, "I surely will. 
And that sooner than you expect, perhaps. You must let 
me know how you are getting along." 

He took her hand. She held his quite warmly. "Now 
I'll hold you to your promise," she gurgled, in a throaty, 
coaxing way. A few days later he encountered her at 
lunch-time in his hall, where she had been literally King 
in wait for him in order to repeat her invitation. Then 
he came. 

The hold-over employees who worked about the City Hall 
in connection with the mayor's office were hereafter in- 
structed to note as witnesses the times of arrival and de- 
parture of Mrs. Brandon and Mr. Sluss. A note that he 
wrote to Mrs. Brandon was carefully treasured, and suffi- 



cient evidence as to their presence at hotels and restau- 
rants was garnered to make out a damaging case. The 
whole affair took about four months; then Mrs. Brandon 
suddenly received an offer to return to Washington, and 
led ro depart. The letters that followed her were a 
part of the data that was finally assembled in Mr. Stimson's 
office to be used against Mr. Sluss in case he became too 
obstreperous in his opposition to Cowperwood. 

In the mean time the organization which Mr. Gilgan had 
planned with Mr. Tiernan, Mr. Kerrigan, and Mr. Edstrom 
was encountering what might be called rough sledding. 
Ir was discovered that, owing to the temperaments of 
some of the new aldermen, and to the self-righteous 
attitude of their political sponsors, no franchises of any 
kind were to be passed unless they had the moral approval 
of such men as Hand, Sluss, and the other reformers; 
above all, no money of any kind was to be paid to anybody 
for anything. 

"Whaddye think of those damn four-flushers and 
come-ons, anyhow?" inquired Mr. Kerrigan of Mr. Tier- 
nan, shortly subsequent to a conference with Gilgan, from 
which Tiernan had been unavoidably absent. They've 
got an ordinance drawn up covering the whole city in an 
elevated-road scheme, ana there ain't anything in it for 
anybody. Say, whaddye think they think we are, any- 
how? Hey?" 

Mr. Tiernan himself, after his own conference with 
Edstrom, had been busy getting the lav of the land, as he 
termed it; and his investigations led mm to believe that 
a certain alderman by the name of Klemm, a clever and 
very respectable German-American from the North Side, 
was to be the leader of the Republicans in council, and that 
he and some ten or twelve others were determined, because 
of moral principles alone, that only honest measures should 
be passed. It was staggering. 

At this news Mr. Kerrigan, who had been calculating on 
a number of thousands of dollars for his vote on various 
occasions, stared incredulously. "Well, I'll be damned!" 
he commented. "They've got a nerve! What?" 

" I've been talking to this fellow Klemm of the twentieth," 



said Mr. Tiernan, sardonically. "Say, he's a real one! I 
met him over at the Tremont talkm' to Hvranek. He 
shakes hands like a dead fish. Whaddve think he had the 
nerve to say to me. 'This isn't the Mr. Tiernan of the 
second :' hi- says." 

"I'm the same/ says I. 

"Well, you don't look as savage as I thought you did/ 
says he. Haw-haw! I felt like sayin', 'If you don't go 
way Til give you a slight tap on the wrist.' I'd like just 
one pass at a stiff like that up a dark alley." (Mr. Tiernan 
almost groaned in anguish.) "And then he begins to say 
he doesn't see how there can be any reasonable objection 
to allowin*. various new companies to enter the street-car 
field. 'It's sufficiently clear, he says, ' that the public is 
against monopolies in any form. (Mr. Tiernan was 
mocking Mr. iClemm's voice and language.) "My eye!" 
he concluded, sententiously. "Wait till he tries to throw 
that dope into Gumble and Pinski and Schlumbohm 
haw, haw!" 

Mr. Kerrigan, at the thought of these hearty aldermen 
accustomed to all the perquisites of graft and rake-off, 
leaned back and gave vent to a burst of deep-chested 
laughter. "I'll tell you what it is.'Mike," he said, archly, 
ling up his tight, very iftMcfc and almost Knglish 
sere, "we're up .mainst a bunch of pikers in this Oilman 
crowd, and they' ht a lesson. He knc 

as well as anybody else. None o' that Christian con game 
goes around where I am. I believe this man Cowperwood's 
right when he says them fellows are a bunch of soreheads 
and jealous. If Cowperwood's willing to put down good 
hard money to keep em out of his game, let them d 
much to stay in it. This ain't no charitv qrah-hai:. We 
ought to be able to round up enough of these new fellows 
tn make Schryhart and Mac Don aid come down good and 
plenty for what they want. From what Gi id all 

along, I thought he was dealing with live ones. They paid 
to win the election. Now let 'em pay to pull off a 
franchise if they want it, eh?" 

"You're damn right," echoed Tiernan. "I'm with you 
to a T." 

It was not long after this conversation that Mr. Truman 


Leslie MacDonald, acting through Alderman Klemm, pro- 
ceeded to make a count of noses, and found to his astonish- 
ment that he was not as strong as he had thought he 
Political loyalty is such a fickle thing. A number of alder- 
men with curious names Horback, Fogarty, McGrane, 
Sumulsky showed signs of being tampered with. He 
hurried at once to Messrs. Hand, Schrynart, and Arneel 
with this disconcerting information. They had been con- 
gratulating themselves that the recent victory, if it re- 
sulted in nothing else, would at least produce a blanket 
"L" road franchise, and that this would be sufficient to 
bring Cowperwood to his knees. 

Upon receiving MacDonald's message Hand sent at once 
for Gilgan. When he inquired as to how soon a vote on 
the General Electric franchise which had been introduced 
bv Mr. Klemm could reasonably be expected, Gilgan de- 
clared himself much grieved to admit that in one direction 
or other considerable opposition seemed to have developed 
to the measure. 

"What's that?" said Hand, a little sayagelv. "Didn't 
we make a plain bargain in regard to this? You had all 
the money you asked for, didn't you? You said you could 
give me twenty-six aldermen who would vote as we agreed. 
You're nor going to go back on your bargain, are you?" 

"Bargain! bar-. MM!" retorted Gilgan, irritated because 
of the spirit of the assault. "1 agreed to elect twenty-six 
Republican aldermen, and that I did. I don't own 'em 
boay and soul. I didn't name 'em in every case. I made 
deals with the men in the different wards that had the 
best chance, and that the people wanted. I'm not respon- 
sible for any crooked work that's going on behind my back, 
am I? I'm not responsible for men's not being straight if 

Mr. Gilgan's face was an aggrieved question-mark. 
" Rut you had the picking of these men," insisted Mr. 
Hand, aggressively. "Every one of them had your per- 
I indorsement. You made the deals with them. You 
don't mean to say they're going back on their sacred agree- 
ment to fight Cowperwood tooth and nail? There can't 
be any misunderstanding on their part as to what they 
were elected to do. The newspapers have been full of the 



fact that nothing favorable to Cowperwood was to be put 

"That's all true enough," replied Mr. Gilgan; "but I 
can't be held responsible for the private honesty of every- 
body. Sure I selected these men. Sure I did! But I 
selected them with the help of the rest of the Republi- 
cans and some of the Democrats. I had to make the best 
terms I could to pick the men that could win. As far as 
I can find out most of 'em are satisfied not to do anything 
for Cowperwood. It's passing these ordinances in favor 
of other people that's stirring up the trouble." 

Mr. Hand's broad forehead wrinkled, and his blue eyes 
surveyed Mr. Gilgan with suspicion. "Who are these men, 
anyhow?" he inquired. "I'd like to get a list of them." 

Mr. Gilgan, safe in his own subtlety, was ready with a 
toll of the supposed recalcitrants. They must fight their 
own battles. Mr. Hand wrote down the names, determin- 
ing meanwhile to bring pressure to bear. He decided also 
to watch Mr. Gilgan. If there should prove to be a hitch 
in the programme the newspapers should be informed and 
commanded to thunder appropriately. Such aldermen 
as proved unfaithful to the great trust imposed on them 
should be smoked out, followed back to the wards which 
had elected them, and exposed to the people who were 
behind them. Their names should be pilloried in the public 
press. The customary hints as to Cowperwood's deviltry 
and trickery should be redoubled. 

But in the mean time Messrs. Stimson, Avery, McKibben, 
Van Sickle, and others were on Cowperwood's behalf acting 
separately upon various unattached aldermen those not 
temperamentally and chronically allied with the reform 
idea and making them understand that if they could find 
it possible to refrain from supporting anti-Cowperwood 
measures for the next two years, a bonus in the shape of 
an annual salary of two thousand dollars or a gift in some 
other form perhaps a troublesome note indorsed or a 
mortgage taken care of would be forthcoming, together 
with a guarantee that the general public should never know. 
In no case was such an offer made direct. Friends or neigh- 
bors, or suave unidentified strangers, brought mysterious 
"messages. By this method some eleven aldermen quite 



apart from the ten regular Democrats who, because of 
McKenty and his influence, could be counted upon had 
been already suborned. Although Schryhart, Hand, and 
Arneel did not know it, their plans even as they planned 
were being thus undermined, and, try as they would, the 
coveted ordinance for a blanket franchise persistently 
eluded them. They had to content themselves for the 
time being with a franchise for a single "L" road line on 
the South Side in Schryhart's own territory, and with a 
franchise to the General Electric covering only one unim- 
portant line, which it would be easy for Cowperwood, if 
ne continued in power, to take over at some later time. 



THE most serious difficulty confronting Cowperwood 
from now on was really not so much political as finan- 
cial. In building up and financing his Chicago street- 
railway enterprises he had, in those days when Addison 
was president of the Lake City National, used that bank as 
his cnief source of supply. Afterward, when Addison had 
been forced to retire from the Lake City to assume charge 
of the Chicago Trust Company, Cowperwood had succeeded 
in having the latter designated as a central reserve and 
in inducing a number of rural banks to keep their special 
deposits in its vaults. However, since the war on him 
and his interests had begun to strengthen through the 
efforts of Hand and Arneel men most influential in the 
control of the other central-reserve banks of Chicago, and 
in close touch with the money barons of New York there 
were signs not wanting that some of the country banks 
depositing with the Chicago Trust Company had been in- 
duced to withdraw because of pressure from outside inim- 
ical forces, and that more were to follow. It was some 
time before Cowperwood fully realized to what an extent 
this financial opposition might be directed against him- 
self. In its very beginning it necessitated speedy hurry- 
ings to New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Baltimore, 
Boston even London at times on the chance that there 
would be loose and ready cash in some one's possession. 
It was on one of these peregrinations that he encountered 
a curious personality which led to various complications in 
his life, sentimental and otherwise, which he had not hitherto 

In various sections of the country Cowperwood had met 
many men of wealth, some grave, some gay, with whom 



he did business, and among these in Louisville, Kentucky, 
he encountered a certain Col. Nathaniel Gillis, very wealthy, 
a horseman, inventor, roue, from whom he occasionally ex- 
tracted loans. The Colonel was an interesting figure in 
Kentucky society; and, taking a great liking to Cowper- 
wood, he found pleasure, during the brief periods in which 
they were together, in piloting him about. On one occasion 
in Louisville he observed: "To-night, Frank, with your 
permission, I am going to introduce you to one of the most 
interesting women I know. She isn't good, but she's en- 
tertaining. She has had a troubled history. She is the ex- 
wife of two of my best friends, both dead, and the ex- 
mistress of another. I like her because I knew her father 
and mother, and because she was a clever little girl and 
still is a nice woman, even if she is getting along. She 
keeps a sort of house of convenience here in Louisville for 
a few of her old friends. You haven't anything particular 
to do to-night, have you? Suppose we go around there?" 

Cowperwood, who was always genially sportive when 
among strong men a sort of bounding collie and who 
liked to humor those who could be of use to him, agreed. 

"It sounds interesting to me. Certainly I'll go. Tell 
me more about her. Is she good-looking?" 

"Rather. But better yet, she is connected with a num- 
ber of women who are.' The Colonel, who had a small, 
gray goatee and sportive dark eyes, winked the latter 

Cowperwood arose. 

"Take me there," he said. 

It was a rainy night. The business on which he was 
seeing the Colonel required another day to complete. There 
was little or nothing to do. On the way the Colonel retailed 
more of the life history of Nannie Hedden, as he familiarly 
called her, and explained that, although this was her maiden 
name, she had subsequently become first Mrs. John Alex- 
ander Fleming, then, after a divorce, Mrs. Ira George Carter, 
and now, alas! was known among the exclusive set of fast 
livers, to which he belonged, as plain Hattie Starr, the 
keeper of a more or, less secret house of ill repute. Cow- 
perwood did not take so much interest in all this until he 
saw her, and then only because of two children the Colonel 



told him about, one a girl by her first marriage, Berenice 
Fleming, who was away in a New York boarding-school, 
the other a boy, Rolfe Carter, who was in a military 
school for boys somewhere in the West. 

"That daughter of hers," observed the Colonel, "is a 
chip of the old block, unless I miss my guess. I only saw 
her two or three times a few years ago when I was down 
East at her mother's summer home; but she struck me 
as having great charm even for a girl of ten. She's a lady 
born, if ever there was one. How her mother is to keep her 
straight, living as she does, is more than I know. How 
she keeps her in that school is a mystery. There's apt to 
be a scandal here at any time. I'm very sure the girl doesn't 
know anything about her mother's business. She never 
lets her come out here." 

"Berenice Fleming," Cowperwood thought to himself. 
"What a pleasing name, and what a peculiar handicap in 

"How old is the daughter now?" he inquired. 

"Oh, she must be about fifteen not more than that." 

When they reached the house, which was located in 
a rather somber, treeless street, Cowperwood was sur- 
prised to find the interior spacious and tastefully fur- 
nished. Presently Mrs. Carter, as she was generally known 
in society, or Hattie Starr, as she was known to a less 
satisfying world, appeared. Cowperwood realized at once 
that he was in the presence of a woman who, whatever 
her present occupation, was not without marked evidences 
of refinement. She was exceedingly intelligent, if not 
highly intellectual, trig, vivacious, anything but common- 
place. A certain spirited undulation in her walk, a 
seeming gay, frank indifference to her position in life, an 
obvious accustomedness to polite surroundings took his 
fancy. Her hair was built up in a loose Frenchy way, 
after the fashion of the empire, and her cheeks were slightly 
mottled with red veins. Her color was too high, and yet it 
was not utterly unbecoming. She had friendly gray-blue 
eyes, which went well with her light-brown hair; along 
with a pink flowered house-gown, which became her fulling 
figure, she wore pearls. 

"The widow of two husbands," thought Cowperwood; 



"the mother of two children!" With the Colonel's easy 
introduction began a light conversation. Mrs. Carter 
gracefully persisted that she had known of Cowperwood for 
some time. His strenuous street-railway operations were 
more or less familiar to her. 

"It would be nice," she suggested, "since Mr. Cowper- 
wood is here, if we invited Grace Deming to call." 

The latter was a favorite of the Colonel's. 

"I would be very glad if I could talk to Mrs. Carter," 

Stllantly volunteered Cowperwood he scarcely knew why. 
e was curious to learn more of her history. On subse- 
quent occasions, and in more extended conversation with 
the Colonel, it was retailed to him in full. 

Nannie Hedden, or Mrs. John Alexander Fleming, or 
Mrs. Ira George Carter, or Hattie Starr, was by birth a 
descendant of a long line of Virginia and Kentucky Heddens 
and Colters, related in a definite or vague way to half the 
aristocracy of four or five of the surrounding states. Now, 
although still a woman of brilliant parts, she was the 
keeper of a select house of assignation in this meager city 
of perhaps two hundred thousand population. How had 
it happened? How could it possibly have come about? 
She had been in her day a reigning beauty. She had been 
born to money and had married money. Her first hus- 
band, John Alexander Fleming, who had inherited wealth, 
tastes, privileges, and vices from a long line of slave-hold- 
ing, tobacco-growing Flemings, was a charming man of the 
Kentucky-Virginia society type. He had been trained in 
the law with a view to entering the diplomatic service, 
but, being an idler by nature, had never done so. In- 
stead, horse-raising, horse-racing, philandering, dancing, 
hunting, and the .like, had taken up his time. When 
their wedding took place the Kentucky-Virginia society 
world considered it a great match. There was wealth 
on both sides. Then came much more of that idle social 
whirl which had produced the marriage. Even philan- 
derings of a very vital character were not barred, though 
deception, in some degree at least, would be neces- 
sary. As a natural result there followed the appearance 
in the mountains of North Carolina during a charming 
autumn outing of a gay young spark by the name of 



Tucker Tanner, and the bestowal on him by the beautiful 
Nannie Fleming as she was then called of her tempo- 
rary affections. Kind friends were quick to report what 
Fleming himself did not see, and Fleming, roue that he 
was, encountering young Mr. Tanner on a high moun- 
tain road one evening, said to him, "You get out of 
this party by night, or I will let daylight through you in 
the morning." Tucker Tanner, realizing that however 
senseless and unfair the exaggerated chivalry of the South 
might be, the end would be bullets just the same, departed. 
Mrs. Fleming, disturbed but unrepentant, considered her- 
self greatly abused. There was much scandal. Then came 
quarrels, drinking on both sides, finally a divorce. Mr. 
Tucker Tanner did not appear to claim his damaged love, 
but the aforementioned Ira George Carter, a penniless ne'er- 
do-well of the same generation and social standing, offered 
himself and was accepted. By the first marriage there had 
been one child, a girl. By the second there was another 
child, a boy. Ira George Carter, before the children were 
old enough to impress Mrs. Carter with the importance of 
their needs or her own affection for them, had squandered, 
in one ridiculous venture after another, the bulk of the prop- 
erty willed to her by her father, Major Wickham Hedden. 
Ultimately, after drunkenness and dissipation on the hus- 
band's side, and finally his death, came the approach of 
poverty. Mrs. Carter was not practical, and still passion- 
ate and inclined to dissipation. However, the aimless, fatu- 
ous going to pieces of Ira George Carter, the looming pathos 
of the future of the children, and a growing sense of affec- 
tion and responsibility had finally sobered her. The lure 
of love and life had not entirely disappeared, but her chance 
of sipping at those crystal founts had grown sadly slender. 
A woman of thirty-eight and still possessing some beauty, 
she was not content to eat the husks provided for the un- 
worthy. Her gorge rose at the thought of that neglected 
state into which the pariahs of society fall and on which 
the inexperienced so cheerfully comment. Neglected by 
her own set, shunned by the respectable, her fortune quite 
gone, she was nevertheless determined that she would not 
be a back-street seamstress or a pensioner upon the bounty 
of quondam friends. By insensible degrees came first un- 



hallowed relationships through friendship and passing pas- 
sion, then a curious intermediate state between the high 
world of fashion and the half world of harlotry, until, final- 
ly, in Louisville, she had become, not openly, but actually, 
the mistress of a house of ill repute. Men who knew how 
these things were done, and who were consulting their own 
convenience far more than her welfare, suggested the ad- 
visability of it. Three or four friends like Colonel Gillis 
wished rooms convenient place in which to loaf, gamble, 
and bring their women. Hattie Starr was her name now, 
and as such she had even become known in a vague way to 
the police but only vaguely as a woman whose home was 
suspiciously gay on occasions. 

Cowperwood, with his appetite for the wonders of life, 
his appreciation of the dramas which produce either failure 
or success, could not help being interested in this spoiled 
woman who was sailing so vaguely the seas of chance. 
Colonel Gillis once said that with some strong man to back 
her, Nannie Fleming could be put back into society. She 
had a pleasant appeal she and her two children, of whom 
she never spoke. After a few visits to her home Cow- 
perwood spent hours talking with Mrs. Carter when- 
ever he was in Louisville. On one occasion, as they 
were entering her boudoir, she picked up a photograph 
of her daughter from the dresser and dropped it into 
a drawer. Cowperwood had never seen this picture be- 
fore. It was that of a girl of fifteen or sixteen, of whom 
he obtained but the most fleeting glance. Yet, with that 
instinct for the essential and vital which invariably pos- 
sessed him, he gained a keen impression of it. It was of a 
delicately haggard child with a marvelously agreeable 
smile, a fine, high-poised head upon a thin neck, and an 
air of bored superiority. Combined with this was a touch 
of weariness about the eyelids which drooped in a lofty 
way. Cowperwood was fascinated. Because of the daugh- 
ter he professed an interest in the mother, which he really 
did not feel. 

A little later Cowperwood was moved to definite ac- 
tion by the discovery in a photographer's window in 
Louisville of a second picture of Berenice a rather large 
affair which Mrs. Carter had had enlarged from a print 



sent her by her daughter some time before. Berenice was 
standing rather indifferently posed at the corner of a 
colonial mantel, a soft straw outing-hat held negligently 
in one hand, one hip sunk lower than the other, a faint, 
elusive smile playing dimly around her mouth. The smile 
was really not a smile, but only the wraith of one, and the 
eyes were wide, disingenuous, mock-simple. The picture, 
because of its simplicity, appealed to him. He did not know 
that Mrs. Carter had never sanctioned its display. "A 
personage," was Cowperwood's comment to himself, and 
ne walked into the photographer's office to see what could 
be done about its removal and the destruction of the 
plates. A half-hundred dollars, he found, would arrange 
it all plates, prints, everything. Since by this ruse he 
secured a picture for himself, he promptly had it framed 
and hung in his Chicago rooms, where sometimes of an 
afternoon when he was hurrying to change his clothes he 
stopped to look at it. With each succeeding examination 
his admiration and curiosity grew. Here was perhaps, he 
thought, the true society woman, the high-born lady, the 
realization of that ideal which Mrs. Merrill and many 
another grande dame had suggested. 

It was not so long after this again that, chancing to be in 
Louisville, he discovered Mrs. Carter in a very troubled 
social condition. Her affairs had received a severe set- 
back. A certain Major Hagenback, a citizen of consider- 
able prominence, had died in her home under peculiar cir- 
cumstances. He was a man of wealth, married, and 
nominally living with his wife in Lexington. As a matter 
of fact, he spent very little time there, and at the time of 
his death of heart failure was leading a pleasurable exist- 
ence with a Miss Trent, an actress, whom he had intro- 
duced to Mrs. Carter as his friend. The police, through a 
talkative deputy coroner, were made aware of all the facts. 
Pictures of Miss Trent, Mrs. Carter, Major Hagenback, 
his wife, and many curious details concerning Mrs. Car- 
ter's home were about to appear in the papers when Colonel 
Gillis and others who were powerful socially and politically 
interfered; the affair was hushed up, but Mrs. Carter was 
in distress. This was more than she had bargained for. 



Her quondam friends were frightened away for the nonce. 
She herself had lost courage. When Cowperwood saw her 
she had been in the very human act of crying, and her eyes 
were red. 

"Well, well," he commented, on seeing her she was in 
moody gray in the bargain "you don't mean to tell me 
you're worrying about anything, are you?" 

"Oh, Mr. Cowperwood," she explained, pathetically, "I 
have had so much trouble since I saw you. You heard of 
Major Hagenback's death, didn't you?" Cowperwood, 
who had heard something of the story from Colonel Gillis, 
nodded. "Well, I have just been notified by the police 
that! will have to move, and the landlord has given, me 
notice, too. If it just weren't for my two children " 

She dabbed at her eyes pathetically. 

Cowperwood meditated interestedly. 

"Haven't you any place you can go?" he asked. 

"I have a summer place in Pennsylvania," she confessed; 
"but I can't go there very well in February. Besides, it's 
my living I'm worrying about. I have only this to de- 
pend on." 

She waved her hand inclusively toward the various rooms. 

"Don't you own that place in Pennsylvania?" he in- 

"Yes, but it isn't worth much, and I couldn't sell it. 
I've been trying to do that anyhow for some time, because 
Berenice is getting tired of it." 

"And haven't you any money laid away?" 

"It's taken all I have to run this place and keep the 
children in school. I've been trying to give Berenice and 
Rolfe a chance to do something for themselves." 

At the repetition of Berenice's name Cowperwood con- 
sulted his own interest or mood in the matter. A little 
assistance for her would not bother him much. Besides, 
it would probably eventually bring about a meeting with 
the daughter. 

"Why don't you clear out of this?" he observed, finally. 
"It's no business to be in, anyhow, if you have any regard 
for your children. They can't survive anything like this. 
You want to put your daughter back in society, don't 



"Oh yes," almost pleaded Mrs. Carter. 

"Precisely," commented Cowperwood, who, when he 
was thinking, almost invariably dropped into a short, cold, 
curt, business manner. Yet he was humanely inclined in 
this instance. 

"Well, then, why not live in your Pennsylvania place 
for the present, or, if not that, go to New York? You can't 
stay here. Ship or sell these things." He waved a hand 
toward the rooms. 

"I would only too gladly," replied Mrs. Carter, "if I 
knew what to do." 

"Take my advice and go to New York for the present. 
You will get rid of your expenses here, and I will help you 
with the rest for the present, anyhow. You can get a 
start again. It is too bad about these children of yours. 
I will take care of the boy as soon as he is old enough. As 
for Berenice" he used her name softly "if she can stay 
in her school until she is nineteen or twenty the chances 
are that she will make social connections which will save 
her nicelv. The thing for you to do is to avoid meeting 
any of this old crowd out here in the future if you can. 
It might be advisable to take her abroad for a time after 
she leaves school." 

"Yes, if I just could," sighed Mrs. Carter, rather lamely. 

"Well, do what I suggest now, and we will see," observed 
Cowperwood. "It would be a pity if your two children 
were to have their lives ruined by such an accident as this." 

Mrs. Carter, realizing that here, in the shape of Cowper- 
wood, if he chose to be generous, was the open way out of 
a lowering dungeon of misery, was inclined to give vent to 
a bit of grateful emotion, but, finding him subtly remote, 
restrained herself. His manner, while warmly generous 
at times, was also easily distant, except when he wished 
it to be otherwise. Just now he was thinking of the high 
soul of Berenice Fleming and of its possible value to him. 



BERENICE FLEMING, at the time Cowperwood first en- 
countered her mother, was an inmate of the Misses Brew- 
ster's School for Girls, then on Riverside Drive, New York, 
and one of the most exclusive establishments of its kind in 
America. The social prestige and connections of the Hed- 
dens, Flemings, and Carters were sufficient to gain her this 
introduction, though the social fortunes of her mother were 
already at this time on the down grade. A tall girl, deli- 
cately haggard, as he had imagined her, with reddish- 
bronze hair of a tinge but distantly allied to that of Aileen's, 
she was unlike any woman Cowperwood had ever known. 
Even at seventeen she stood up and out with an inexplicable 
superiority which brought her the feverish and exotic at- 
tention of lesser personalities whose emotional animality 
found an outlet in swinging a censer at her shrine. 

A strange maiden, decidedly! Even at this age, when 
she was, as one might suppose, a mere slip of a girl, she was 
deeply conscious of herself, her sex, her significance, her 
possible social import. Armed with a fair skin, a few 
freckles, an almost too high color at times, strange, deep, 
night-blue, cat-like eyes, a long nose, a rather pleasant 
mouth, perfect teeth, and a really good chin, she moved 
always with a feline grace that was careless, superior, 
sinuous, nnd yet the acme of harmony and a rhythmic 
flow of lines. One of her mess-hall tricks, when unobserved 
by her instructors, was to walk with six plates and a water- 
pitcher all gracefully poised on the top of her head after 
the fashion of the Asiatic and the African, her hips moving, 
her shoulders, neck, and head still. Girls begged weeks on 
end to have her repeat this "stunt," as they called it. 
Another was to put her arms behind her and with a rush 



imitate the Winged Victory, a copy of which graced the 
library hall. 

"You know," one little rosy-cheeked satellite used to 
urge on her, adoringly, "she must have been like you. 
Her head must have been like yours. You are lovely 
when you do it." 

For answer Berenice's deep, almost black - blue eyes 
turned on her admirer with solemn unflattered considera- 
tion. She awed always by the something that she did not 

The school, for all the noble dames who presided over 
it solemn, inexperienced owl-like conventionalists who in- 
sisted on the last tittle and jot of order and procedure 
was a joke to Berenice. She recognized the value of its 
social import, but even at fifteen and sixteen she was su- 
perior to it. She was superior to her superiors and to the 
specimens of maidenhood supposed to be perfect socially 
who gathered about to hear her talk, to hear her sing, 
declaim, or imitate. She was deeply, dramatically, urgently 
conscious of the value of her personality in itself, not as 
connected with any inherited social standing, but of its in- 
nate worth, and of the artistry and wonder of her body. 
One of her chief delights was to walk alone in her room 
sometimes at night, the lamp out, the moon perhaps 
faintly illuminating her chamber and to pose and survey 
her body, and dance in some naive, graceful, airy Greek way 
a dance that was singularly free from sex consciousness and 
yet was it? She was conscious of her body of every inch 
of it under the ivory-white clothes which she frequently 
wore. Once she wrote in a secret diary which she main- 
tained another art impulse or an affectation, as you will: 
"My skin is so wonderful. It tingles so with rich life. I 
love it and my strong muscles underneath. I love my 
hands and my hair and my eyes. My hands are long and 
thin and delicate; my eyes are a dark, deep blue; my 
hair is a brown, rusty red, thick and sleepy. My long, 
firm, untired limbs can dance all night. Oh, I love life! 
I love life!" 

You would not have called Berenice Fleming sensuous 
though she was because she was self-controlled. Her 
eyes lied to you. They lied to all the world. They looked 



you through and through with a calm savoir faire, a mock- 
ing defiance, which said with a faint curl of the lips, barely 
suggested to help them out, "You cannot read me, you can- 
not read me." She put her head to one side, smiled, lied 
(by implication), assumed that there was nothing. And 
there was nothing, as yet. Yet there was something, too 
her inmost convictions, and these she took good care to 
conceal. The world how little it should ever, ever know! 
How little it ever could know truly! 

The first time Cowperwood encountered this Circe 
daughter of so unfortunate a mother was on the occasion 
of a trip to New York, the second spring following his in- 
troduction to Mrs. Carter in Louisville. Berenice was 
taking some part in the closing exercises of the Brewster 
School, and Mrs. Carter, with Cowperwood for an escort, 
decided to go East. Cowperwood having located him- 
self at the Netherlands, and Mrs. Carter at the much 
humbler Grenoble, they journeyed together to visit this 
paragon whose picture he had had hanging in his rooms 
in Chicago for months past. When they were intro- 
duced "" into the somewhat somber reception parlor of 
the Brewster School, Berenice came slipping in after a 
few moments, a noiseless figure of a girl, tall and slim, 
and deliciously sinuous. Cowperwood saw at first glance 
that she fulfilled all the promise of her picture, and was 
delighted. She had, he thought, a strange, shrewd, in- 
telligent smile, which, however, was girlish and friendly. 
Without so much as a glance in his direction she came for- 
ward, extending her arms and hands in an inimitable his- 
trionic manner, and exclaimed, with a practised and yet 
natural inflection: "Mother, dear! So here you are really! 
You know, I've been thinking of you all morning. I wasn't 
sure^whether you would come to-day, you change about so. 
I think I even dreamed of you last night." 

Her skirts, still worn just below the shoe-tops, had the 
richness of scraping silk then fashionable. She was also 
guilty of using a faint perfume of some kind. 

Cowperwood could see that Mrs. Carter, despite a cer- 
tain nervousness due to the girl's superior individuality 
and his presence, was very proud of her. Berenice, he also 
saw quickly, was measuring him out of the tail of her eye 

12 353 


a single sweeping glance which she vouchsafed from be- 
neath her long lashes sufficing; but she gathered quite ac- 
curately the totality of Cowperwood's age, force, grace, 
wealth, and worldly ability. Without hesitation she classed 
him as a man of power in some field, possibly finance, one 
of the numerous able men whom her mother seemed to 
know. She always wondered about her mother. His large 
gray eyes, that searched her with lightning accuracy, ap- 
pealed to her as pleasant, able eyes. She knew on the in- 
stant, young as she was, that he liked women, and that 
probably he would think her charming; but as for giving 
him additional attention it was outside her code. She 
preferred to be interested in her dear mother exclu- 

"Berenice," observed Mrs. Carter, airily, "let me intro- 
duce Mr. Cowperwood." 

Berenice turned, and for the fraction of a second leveled 
a frank and yet condescending glance from wells of what 
Cowperwood considered to be indigo blue. 

"Your mother has spoken of you from time to time," he 
said, pleasantly. 

She withdrew a cool, thin hand as limp and soft as wax, 
and turned to her mother again without comment, and yet 
without the least embarrassment. Cowperwood seemed in 
no way important to her. 

"What would you say, dear," pursued Mrs. Carter, after 
a brief exchange of commonplaces, "if I were to spend next 
winter in New York?" 

"It would be charming if I could live at home. I'm sick 
of this silly boarding-school." 

"Why, Berenice! I thought you liked it." 

"I hate it, but only because it's so dull. The girls here 
are so silly." 

Mrs. Carter lifted her eyebrows as much as to say to her 
escort, "Now what do you think?" Cowperwood stood 
solemnly by. It was not for him to make a suggestion at 
present. He could see that for some reason probably 
because of her disordered life Mrs. Carter was playing a 
game of manners with her daughter; she maintained al- 
ways a lofty, romantic air. With Berenice it was natural 
the expression of a vain, self-conscious, superior disposition. 



"A rather charming garden here," he observed, lifting 
a curtain and looking out into a blooming plot. 

"Yes, the flowers are nice," commented Berenice. 
"Wait; I'll get some for you. It's against the rules, but 
they can't do more than send me away, and that's what 
I want." 

"Berenice! Come back here!" 

It was Mrs. Carter calling. 

The daughter was gone in a fling of graceful lines and 

"Now what do you make of her?" asked Mrs. Carter, 
turning to her friend. 

"Youth, individuality, energy a hundred things. I 
see nothing wrong with her." 

"If I could only see to it that she had her opportunities 

Already Berenice was returning, a subject for an artist 
in almost studied lines. Her arms were full of sweet-peas 
and roses which she had ruthlessly gathered. 

"You wilful girl!" scolded her mother, indulgently. "I 
shall have to go and explain to your superiors. Whatever 
shall I do with her, Mr. Cowperwood?" 

"Load her with daisy chains and transport her to 
Cytherea," commented Cowperwood, who had once visited 
this romantic isle, and therefore knew its significance. 

Berenice paused. "What a pretty speech that is!" she 
exclaimed. "I have a notion to give you a special flower 
for that. I will, too." She presented him with a rose. 

For a girl who had slipped in shy and still, Cowperwood 
commented, her mood had certainly changed. Still, this 
was the privilege of the born actress, to change. And as 
he viewed Berenice Fleming now he felt her to be such a 
born actress, lissome, subtle, wise, indifferent, superior, 
taking the world as she found it and expecting it to obey 
to sit up like a pet dog and be told to beg. What a charm- 
ing character! What a pity it should not be allowed to 
bloom undisturbed in its make-believe garden! What a 
pity, indeed! 



IT was some time after this first encounter before Cowper- 
wood saw Berenice again, and then only for a few days 
in that region of the Pocono Mountains where Mrs. Carter 
had her summer home. It was an idyllic spot on a moun- 
tainside, some three miles from Stroudsburg, among a peculiar 
juxtaposition of hills which, from the comfortable recesses 
of a front veranda, had the appearance, as Mrs. Carter was 
fond of explaining, of elephants and camels parading in the 
distance. The humps of the hills some of them as high 
as eighteen hundred feet rose stately and green. Below, 
quite visible for a mile or more, moved the dusty, white 
road descending to Stroudsburg. Out of her Louisville 
earnings Mrs. Carter had managed to employ, for the several 
summer seasons she had been here, a gardener, who kept 
the sloping front lawn in seasonable flowers. There was 
a trig two -wheeled trap with a smart horse and har- 
ness, and both Rolfe and Berenice were possessed of the 
latest novelty of the day low- wheeled bicycles, which had 
just then superseded the old, high-wheel variety. For 
Berenice, also, was a music-rack full of classic music and 
song collections, a piano, a shelf of favorite books, paint- 
ing - materials, various athletic implements, and several 
types of Greek dancing- tunics which she had designed 
herself, including sandals and fillet for her hair. She 
was an idle, reflective, erotic person dreaming strange 
dreams of a near and yet far-off social supremacy, at 
other times busying herself with such social opportuni- 
ties as came to her. A more safely calculating and 
yet wilful girl than Berenice Fleming would have been 
hard to find. By some trick of mental adjustment she had 
gained a clear prevision of how necessary it was to select 



the right socially, and to conceal her true motives and feel- 
ings; and yet she was by no means a snob, mentally, nor 
utterly calculating. Certain things in her own and in her 
mother's life troubled her quarrels in her early days, from 
her seventh to her eleventh year, between her mother and 
her stepfather, Mr. Carter; the latter* s drunkenness verg- 
ing upon delirium tremens at times; movings from one place 
to another all sorts of sordid and depressing happenings. 
Berenice had been an impressionable child. Some things 
had gripped her memory mightily once, for instance, 
when she had seen her stepfather, in the presence of her 
governess, kick a table over, and, seizing the toppling lamp 
with demoniac skill, hurl it through a window. She, her- 
self, had been tossed by him in one of these tantrums, when, 
in answer to the cries of terror of those about her, he had 
shouted: "Let her fall! It won't hurt the little devil to 
break a few bones." This was her keenest memory of her 
stepfather, and it rather softened her judgment of her 
mother, made her sympathetic with her when she was in- 
clined to be critical. Of her own father she only knew 
that he had divorced her mother why, she could not say. 
She liked her mother on many counts, though she could not 
feel that she actually loved her Mrs. Carter was too 
fatuous at times, and at other times too restrained. 
This house at Pocono, or Forest Edge, as Mrs. Carter 
had named it, was conducted after a peculiar fashion. 
From June to October only it was open, Mrs. Carter, in the 
past, having returned to Louisville at that time, while 
Berenice and Rolfe went back to their respective schools. 
Rolfe was a cheerful, pleasant-mannered youth, well bred, 
genial, and courteous, but not very brilliant intellectually. 
Cowperwood's judgment of him the first time he saw him 
was that under ordinary circumstances he would make a 
good confidential clerk, possibly in a bank. Berenice, on 
the other hand, the child of the first husband, was a crea- 
ture of an exotic mind and an opalescent heart. After his 
first contact with her in the reception-room of the Brewster 
School Cowperwood was deeply conscious of the import 
of this budding character. He was by now so familiar with 
types and kinds of women that an exceptional type quite 
like an exceptional horse to a judge of horse-flesh stood 



out in his mind with singular vividness. Quite as in some 
great racing-stable an ambitious horseman might imagine 
that he detected in some likely filly the signs and lineaments 
of the future winner of a Derby, so in Berenice Fleming, in 
the quiet precincts of the Brewster School, Cowperwood 
previsioned the central figure of a Newport lawn fete or a 
London drawing-room. Why? She had the air, the grace, 
the lineage, the blood that was why; and on that score 
she appealed to him intensely, quite as no other woman be- 
fore had ever done. 

It was on the lawn of Forest Edge that Cowperwood now 
saw Berenice. The latter had had the gardener set up a 
tall pole, to which was attached a tennis-ball by a cord, 
and she and Rolfe were hard at work on a game of tether- 
ball. Cowperwood, after a telegram to Mrs. Carter, had 
been met at the station in Pocono by her and rapidly driven 
out to the house. The green hills pleased him, the up- 
winding, yellow road, the silver-gray cottage with the 
brown-shingle roof in the distance. It was three in the 
afternoon, and bright for a sinking sun. 

"There they are now," observed Mrs. Carter, cheerful 
and smiling, as they came out from under a low ledge that 
skirted the road a little way from the cottage. Berenice, 
executing a tripping, running step to one side, was striking 
the tethered ball with her racquet. "They are hard at it, 
as usual. Two such romps!" 

She surveyed them with pleased motherly interest, which 
Cowperwood considered did her much credit. He was 
thinking that it would be too bad if her hopes for her chil- 
dren should not be realized. Yet possibly they might not 
be. Life was very grim. How strange, he thought, was 
this type of woman at once a sympathetic, affectionate 
mother and a panderer to the vices of men. How strange 
that she should have these children at all. 

Berenice had on a white skirt, white tennis-shoes, a pale- 
cream silk waist or blouse, which fitted her very loosely. 
Because of exercise her color was high quite pink and her 
dusty, reddish hair was blowy. Though they turned into 
the hedge gate and drove to the west entrance, which was 
at one side of the house, there was no cessation of the 
game, not even a glance from Berenice, so busy was she. 



He was merely her mother's friend to her. Cowperwood 
noted, with singular vividness of feeling, that the lines of 
her movements the fleeting, momentary positions she 
assumed were full of a wondrous natural charm. He 
wanted to say so to Mrs. Carter, but restrained himself. 

"It's a brisk game," he commented, with a pleased glance. 
"You play, do you?" 

"Oh, I did. I don't much any more. Sometimes I try 
a set with Rolfe or Bevy; but they both beat me so badly. ' 

"Bevy? Who is Bevy?" 

"Oh, that's short of Berenice. It's what Rolfe called 
her when he was a baby." 

"Bevy! I think that rather nice." 

"I always like it, too. Somehow it seems to suit her, 
and yet I don't know why." 

Before dinner Berenice made her appearance, freshened 
by a bath and clad in a light summer dress that appeared 
to Cowperwood to be all flounces, and the more graceful in 
its lines for the problematic absence of a corset. Her face 
and hands, however a face thin, long, and sweetly hollow, 
and hands that were slim and sinewy gripped and held his 
fancy. He was reminded in the least degree of Stephanie; 
but this girl's chin was firmer and more delicately, though 
more aggressively, rounded. Her eyes, too, were shrewder 
and less evasive, though subtle enough. 

"So I meet you again," he observed, with a somewhat 
aloof air, as she came out on the porch and sank listlessly 
into a wicker chair. "The last time I met you you were 
hard at work in New York." 

"Breaking the rules. No, I forget; that was my easiest 
work. Oh, Rolfe," she called over her shoulder, indiffer- 
ently, "I see your pocket-knife out on the grass." 

Cowperwood, properly suppressed, waited a brief space. 
"Who won that exciting game?" 

"I did, of course. I always win at tether-ball." 

"Oh, do you?" commented Cowperwood. 

" I mean with brother, of course. He plays so poorly." 
She turned to the west the house faced south and studied 
the road which came up from Stroudsburg. "I do believe 
that's Harry Kemp," she added, quite to herself. "If so, 
he'll have my mail, if there is any." 



She got up again and disappeared into the house, coming 
out a few moments later to saunter down to the gate, which 
was over a hundred feet away. To Cowperwood she seemed 
to float, so hale and graceful was she. A smart youth in 
blue serge coat, white trousers, and white shoes drove by 
in a high-seated trap. 

"Two letters for you," he called, in a high, almost fal- 
setto voice "I thought you would have eight or nine. 
Blessed hot, isn't it?" He had a smart though somewhat 
effeminate manner, and Cowperwood at once wrote him 
down as an ass. Berenice took the mail with an en- 
gaging smile. She sauntered past him reading, without 
so much as a glance. Presently he heard her voice 

"Mother, the Haegertys have invited me for the last 
week in August. I nave half a mind to cut Tuxedo and 
go. I like Bess Haggerty." 

"Weil, you'll have to decide that, dearest. Are they 
going to be at Tarrytown or Loon Lake?" 

"Loon Lake, of course," came Berenice's voice. 

What a world of social doings she was involved in, 
thought Cowperwood. She had begun well. The Hag- 
gertys were rich coal-mine operators in Pennsylvania. 
Harris Haggerty, to whose family she was probably re- 
ferring, was worth at least six or eight million. The social 
world they moved in was high. 

They drove after dinner to The Saddler, at Saddler's 
Run, where a dance and "moonlight promenade" was to 
be given. On the way over, owing to the remoteness of 
Berenice, Cowperwood for the first time in his life felt him- 
self to be getting old. In spite of the vigor of his mind 
and body, he realized constantly that he was over fifty- 
two, while she was only seventeen. Why should this lure 
of youth continue to possess him? She wore a white con- 
coction of lace and silk which showed a pair of smooth 
young shoulders and a slender, queenly, inimitably modeled 
neck. He could tell by the sleek lines of her arms how 
strong she was. 

"It is perhaps too late," he said to himself, in comment. 
"I am getting old." 

The freshness of the hills in the pale night was sad. 


Saddler's, when they reached there after ten, was crowded 
with the youth and beauty of the vicinity. Mrs. Carter, 
who was prepossessing in a ball costume of silver and old 
rose, expected that Cowperwood would dance with her. 
And he did, but all the time his eyes were on Berenice, 
who was caught up by one youth and another of dapper 
mien during the progress of the evening and carried rhyth- 
mically by in the mazes of the waltz or schottische. There 
was a new dance in vogue that involved a gay, run- 
ning step kicking first one foot and then the other for- 
ward, turning and running backward and kicking again, 
and then swinging with a smart air, back to back, with 
one's partner. Berenice, in her lithe, rhythmic way, 
seemed to him the soul of spirited and gracious ease- 
unconscious of everybody and everything save the spirit 
of the dance itself as a medium of sweet emotion, of some 
far-off, dreamlike spirit of gaiety. He wondered. He was 
deeply impressed. 

"Berenice," observed Mrs. Carter, when in an inter- 
mission she came forward to where Cpwperwood and she 
were sitting in the moonlight discussing New York and 
Kentucky social life, "haven't you saved one dance for 
Mr. Cowperwood?" 

Cowperwood, with a momentary feeling of resentment, 
protested that he did not care to dance any more. Mrs. 
Carter, he observed to himself, was a fool. 

"I believe," said her daughter, with a languid air, "that 
I am full up. I could break one engagement, though, 

"Not for me, though, please," pleaded Cowperwood. 
"I don't care to dance any more, thank you." 

He almost hated her at the moment for a chilly cat. 
And yet he did not. 

"Why, Bevy, how you talk! I think you are acting very 
badly this evening." 

"Please, please," pleaded Cowperwood, quite sharply. 
"Not any more. I don't care to dance any more." 

Bevy looked at him oddly for a moment a single thought- 
ful glance. 

"But I have a dance, though," she pleaded, softly. "I 
was just teasing. Won't you dance it with me?" 



"I can't refuse, of course," replied Cowperwood, coldly. 

"It's the mxt cm-." she replied. 

They danced, but he scarcely softened to her at first, 
so angry was he. Somehow, because of all that had gone 
before, he felt stiff and ungainly. She had managed to 
break in upon his natural s avoir fair e this chit of a pirl. 
But as they went on through a second half the spirit < 
dancing soul caught him, and he felt more at ease, quite 
rhythmic. She drew close and swept him into a strange 
n with herself. 

"You dance beautifully," he said. 

" I love it," she replied. She was already of an agreeable 
height for him. 

was toon over. "I wish you would take me where the 
ices are," she said to Cowperwood. 

He led her, half amused, half disturbed at her attitude 
toward him. 

"You are having a pleasant time teasing me, aren't 

he asked. 

I am only tired," she replied. "The evening bores me. 
Really it does. I wish we were all home." 

"We can go when you say, no dou! 

As they reached the ices, and she took one from his hand, 
she surveyed him with those cool, dull blue eyes of hers 
eyes that had the flat quality of unglazed Dutch tiles. 

" I wish you would forgive me," she said. "I was rude. 
I couldn't nelp it. I am all out of sorts with myself." 

" I hadn't felt you were rude," he observed, lying grand- 
Iv. his mood toward her changing entirely. 

"Oh yes I was, and I hope you will forgive me. I 
cerely wish you would." 

4 I do with all my heart the little that there is to for- 

He waited to take her back, and yielded her to a youth 
who was waiting. He watched her trip away in a dance, 
and eventually led her mother to the trap. Berenice was 
not with them on the home drive; some one else was bring- 
ing her. Cowperwood wondered when she would i 
and where was her room, and whether she was really sorry, 
and - As he fell asleep Berenice Fleming and her slate- 
blue eyes were filling his mind completely. 




banking hostility to Cowperwood, which in its be- 
1 ginning had made necessary nis trip to Kentucky and 
elsewhere, finally reached a climax. It followed an attempt 
on his part to furnish funds for the building of elevated 
roads. The hour for this new form of transit convenience 
had struck. The public demanded it. Cowperwood saw 
one elevated road, the South Side Alley Line, being built, 
and another, the West Side Metropolitan Line, being pro- 
posed, largely, as he knew, in order to create sentiment for 
the idea, and so to make his opposition to a general fran- 
chise difficult. He was well aware that if he did not choose 
to build them others would. It mattered little that elec- 
tricity had arrived finally as a perfected traction factor, and 
that all his lines would soon have to be done over to meet 
that condition, or that it was costing him thousands and 
thousands to stay the threatening aspect of things politi- 
cally. In addition he must now plunge into this new realm, 

hiscs by the roughest and subtlest forn 
bribery. The most serious aspect of T 
not political, but rather finaru cvated roads in 

ng to the sparse ness of the population over 
large areas, were a serious thing to contemplate. The mere 
cost of iron, right of way, rolling-stock, and power-plants was 
immense. Being chronically opposed to investing hi 
vate funds where stocks could just as well be unloaded on the 
public, and the management and control retained by him, 
Cowperwood, for the time being, was puzzled as to where he 
should get credit for the millions to be laid down in struc- 
tural steel, engineering fees, labor, and equipment before 
ever a dollar could be taken out in passenger fares. Ov>m 
to the advent of the World's Fair, the South Side "L" 



to which, in order to have peace and quiet, he had finally 
conceded a franchise was doing reasonably well. Yet it 
was not making any such return on the investment as the 
New York roads. The new lines which he was preparing 
would traverse even less populous sections of the city, 
and would in all likelihood yield even a smaller return. 
Money had to be forthcoming something between twelve 
and hfteen million dollars and this on the stocks and 
bonds of a purely paper corporation which might not yield 
paying dividends for years to come. Addison, finding that 
the Chicago Trust Company was already heavily loaded, 
called upon various minor but prosperous local banks to 
take over the new securities (each in part, of course). 
He was astonished and chagrined to find that one and all 
uniformly refused. 

"I'll tell you how it is, Judah," one bank president con- 
fided to him, in great secrecy. "We owe Timothy Arneel 
at least three hundred thousand dollars that we only have 
to pay three per cent. for. It's a call-loan. Besides, the 
Lake National is our main standby when it comes to quick 
trades, and he's in on that. I understand from one or two 
friends that he's at outs with Cowperwood, and we can't 
afford to offend him. I'd like to, but no more for me 
not at present, anyhow." 

"Why, Simmons," replied Addison, "these fellows are 
simply cutting off their noses to spite their faces. These 
stock and bond issues are perfectly good investments, and 
no one knows it better than you do. All this hue and cry 
in the newspapers against Cowperwood doesn't amount to 
anything. He's perfectly solvent. Chicago is growing. 
His lines are becoming more valuable every year. ' 

"I know that," replied Simmons. "But what about this 
talk of a rival elevated system? Won't that injure his lines 
for the time being, anyhow, if it comes into the field?" 

"If I know anything about Cowperwood," replied Ad- 
dison, simply, "there isn't going to be any rival elevated 
road. It's true they got the city council to give them a 
franchise for one line on the South Side; but that's out of 
his territory, anyhow, and that other one to the Chicago 
General Company doesn't amount to anything. It will 
be years and years before it can be made to pay a dollar, 



and when the time comes he will probably take it over if 
he wants it. Another election will be held in two years, 
and then the city administration may not be so unfavor- 
able. As it is, they haven't been able to hurt him through 
the council as much as they thought they would." 

"Yes; but he lost the election." 

"True; but it doesn't follow he's going to lose the next 
one, or every one." 

"Just the same," replied Simmons, very secretively, "I 
understand there's a concerted effort on to drive him out. 
Schryhart, Hand, Merrill, Arneel they're the most power- 
ful men we have. I understand Hand says that he'll never 
get his franchises renewed except on terms that '11 make his 
lines unprofitable. There's going to be an awful smash 
here one of these days if that's true." Mr. Simmons looked 
very wise and solemn. 

"Never believe it," replied Addison, contemptuously. 
"Hand isn't Chicago, neither is Schryhart, nor Arneel. 
Cowperwood is a brainy man. He isn't going to be put 
under so easily. Did you ever hear what was the real 
bottom cause of all this disturbance?" 

"Yes, I've heard," replied Simmons. 

"Do you believe it?" 

"Oh, I don't know. Yes, I suppose I do. Still, I don't 
know that that need have anything to do with it. Money 
envy is enough to make any man fight. This man Hand is 
very powerful." 

Not long after this Cowperwood, strolling into the presi- 
dent's office of the Chicago Trust Company, inquired: 
"Well, Judah, how about those Northwestern 'L' bonds?" 

"It's just as I thought, Frank," replied Addison, softly. 
"We'll have to go outside of Chicago for that money. 
Hand, Arneel, and the rest of that crowd have decided to 
combine against us. That's plain. Something has started 
them off in full cry. I suppose my resignation may have 
had something to do with it. Anyhow, every one of the 
banks in which they have any hand has uniformly refused 
to come in. To make sure that I was right I even called 
up the little old Third National of Lake View and the 
Drovers and Traders on Forty-seventh Street. That's 
Charlie Wallin's bank. When I was over in the Lake 



National he used to hang around the back door asking for 
anything I could give him that was sound. Now he says 
his orders are from his directors not to share in anything 
we have to offer. It's the same story everywhere they 
daren't. I asked Wallin if he knew why the directors were 
down on the Chicago Trust or on you, and at first he said 
he didn't. Then he said he'd stop in and lunch with me 
some day. They're the silliest lot of old ostriches I ever 
heard of. As if refusing to let us have money on any loan 
here was going to prevent us from getting it! They can 
take their little old one-horse banks and play blockhouses 
with them if they want to. I can go to New York and in 
thirty-six hours raise twenty million dollars if we need it." 

Addison was a little warm. It was a new experience for 
him. Cowperwood merely curled his mustaches and 
smiled sardonically. 

"Well, never mind," he said. "Will you go down to 
New York, or shall I?" 

It was decided, after some talk, that Addison should go. 
When he reached New York he found, to his surprise, that 
the local opposition to Cowperwood had, for some mysteri- 
ous reason, begun to take root in the East. 

"I'll tell you how it is," observed Joseph Haeckelheimer, 
to whom Addison applied a short, smug, pussy person 
who was the head of Haeckelheimer, Gotloeb & Co., inter- 
national bankers. "We hear odd things concerning Mr. 
Cowperwood out in Chicago. Some people say he is sound 
some not. He has some very good franchises covering 
a large portion of the city, but they are only twenty-year 
franchises, and they will all run out by 1933 at the latest. 
As I understand it, he has managed to stir up all the local 
elements some very powerful ones, too and he is certain 
to have a hard time to get his franchises renewed. I don't 
live in Chicago, of course. I don't know much about it, 
but our Western correspondent tells me this is so. Mr. 
Cowperwood is a very able man, as I understand it, but 
if all these influential men are opposed to him they can 
make him a great deal of trouble. The public is very 
easily aroused." 

"You do a very able man a great injustice, Mr. Haeckel- 
heimer," Addison retorted. "Almost any one who starts 



out to do things successfully and intelligently is sure to stir 
up a great deal of feeling. The particular men you men- 
tion seem to feel that they have a sort of proprietor's in- 
terest in Chicago. They really think they own it. As a 
matter of fact, the city made them; they didn't make the 


Mr. Haeckelheimer lifted his eyebrows. He laid two 
fine white hands, plump and stubby, over the lower buttons 
of his protuberant waistcoat. "Public favor is a great 
factor in all these enterprises," he almost sighed. "As 
you know, part of a man's resources lies in his ability to 
avoid stirring up opposition. It may be that Mr. Cowper- 
wood is strong enough to overcome all that. I don't know. 
I've never met him. I'm just telling you what I hear." 

This offish attitude on the part of Mr. Haeckelheimer 
was indicative of a new trend. The man was enormously 
wealthy. The firm of Haeckelheimer, Gotloeb & Co. 
represented a controlling interest in some of the principal 
railways and banks in America. Their favor was not to 
be held in light esteem. 

It was plain that these rumors against Cowperwood in 
New York, unless offset promptly by favorable events in 
Chicago, might mean in the large banking quarters, any- 
how the refusal of all subsequent Cowperwood issues. 
It might even close the doors of minor banks and make 
private investors nervous. 

Addison's report of all this annoyed Cowperwood no 
little. It made him angry. He saw in it the work of 
Schryhart, Hand, and others who were trying their best 
to discredit him. "Let them talk," he declared, crossly. 
"I have the street-railways. They're not going to rout 
me out of here. I can sell stocks and bonds to the public 
direct if need be! There are plenty of private people who 
are glad to invest in these properties." 

At this psychological moment enter, as by the hand 
of Fate, the planet Mars and the University. This latter, 
from having been for years a humble Baptist college of 
the cheapest character, had suddenly, through the benef- 
icence of a great Standard Oil multimillionaire, flared 
upward into a great university, and was causing a stir 
throughout the length and breadth of the educational world. 



It was already a most noteworthy spectacle, one of the 
sights of the city. Millions were being poured into it; new 
and beautiful buildings were almost monthly erected. A 
brilliant, dynamic man had been called from the East as 
president. There were still many things needed dor- 
mitories, laboratories of one kind and another, a great 
library; and, last but not least, a giant telescope one that 
would sweep the heavens with a hitherto unparalleled re- 
ceptive eye, and wring from it secrets not previously de- 
cipherable by the eye and the mind of man. 

Cowperwood had always been interested in the heavens 
and in the giant mathematical and physical methods of 
interpreting them. It so happened that the war-like planet, 
with its sinister aspect, was just at this time to be seen 
hanging in the west, a fiery red; and the easily aroused 
public mind was being stirred to its shallow depth by re- 
reflections and speculations regarding the famous canals 
of the luminary. The mere thought of the possibility of 
a larger telescope than any now in existence, which might 
throw additional light on this evasive mystery, was excit- 
ing not only Chicago, but the whole world. Late one after- 
noon Cowperwood, looking over some open fields which 
faced his new power-house in West Madison Street, observed 
the planet hanging low and lucent in the evening sky, a 
warm, radiant bit of orange in a sea of silver. He paused 
and surveyed it. Was it true that there were canals on it, 
and people? Life was surely strange. 

One day not long after this Alexander Rambaud called 
him up on the 'phone and remarked, jocosely: 

"I say, Cowperwood, I've played a rather shabby trick 
on you just now. Doctor Hooper, of the University, 
was in here a few minutes ago asking me to be one 
of ten to guarantee the cost of a telescope lens that he 
thinks he needs to run that one-horse school of his out 
there. I told him I thought you might possibly be in- 
terested. His idea is to find some one who will guarantee 
forty thousand dollars, or eight or ten men who will guar- 
antee four or five thousand each. I thought of you, be- 
cause I've heard you discuss astronomy from time to time." 

"Let him come," replied Cowperwood, who was never 
willing to be behind others in generosity, particularly where 



his efforts were likely to be appreciated in significant 

Shortly afterward appeared the doctor himself short, 
rotund, ruhicund, displaying behind a pair of clear, thick, 
gold-rimmed glasses, round, dancing, incisive eyes. Imag- 
inative grip, buoyant, self- delusive self- respect were 
written all over him. The two men eyed each other one 
with that broad - gage examination which sees even uni- 
versities as futile in the endless shift of things; the other 
with that faith in the balance for right which makes even 
great personal forces, such as financial magnates, serve an 
idealistic end. 

"It's not a very long story I have to tell you, Mr. Cow- 
perwood," said the doctor. "Our astronomical work is 
handicapped just now by the simple fact that we have no 
lens at all, no telescope worthy of the name. I should like 
to see the University do original work in this field, and do 
it in a great way. The only way to do it, in my judgment, 
is to do it better than any one else can. Don't you agree 
with me ?" He showed a row of shining white teeth. 

Cowperwood smiled urbanely. 

"Will a forty-thousand-dollar lens be a better lens than 
any other lens?" he inquired. 

"Made by Appleman Brothers, of Dorchester, it will," 
replied the college president. "The whole story is here, 
Mr. Cowperwood. These men are practical lens-makers. 
A great lens, in the first place, is a matter of finding a suit- 
able crystal. Large and flawless crystals are not common, 
as you may possibly know. Such a crystal has recently 
been found, and is now owned by Mr. Appleman. It takes 
about four or five years to grind and polish it. Most of 
the polishing, as you may or may not know, is done by 
the hand smoothing it with the thumb and forefinger. 
The time, judgment, and skill of an optical expert is re- 
quired. To-day, unfortunately, that is not cheap. The 
laborer is worthy of his hire, however, I suppose" he 
waved a soft, full, white hand "and forty thousand is 
little enough. It would be a great honor if the University 
could have the largest, most serviceable, and most perfect 
lens in the world. It would reflect great credit, I take it, 
on the men who would make this possible." 



Cowperwood liked the man's artistically educational air; 
obviously here was a personage of ability, brains, emotion, 
and scientific enthusiasm. It was splendid to him to see 
any strong man in earnest, for himself or others. 

"And forty thousand will do this?" he asked. 

"Yes, sir. Forty thousand will guarantee us the lens, 

And how about land, buildings, a telescope frame? 
Have you all those things prepared for it?" 

"Not as yet, but, since it takes four years at least to 
grind the lens, there will be time enough, when the lens is 
nearing completion, to look after the accessories. We have 
picked our site, however Lake Geneva and we would 
not refuse either land or accessories if we knew where to 
get them." 

Again the even, shining teeth, the keen eyes boring 
through the glasses. 

Cowperwood saw a great opportunity. He asked what 
would DC the cost of tne entire project. Dr. Hooper pre- 
sumed that three hundred thousand would do it all hand- 
somely lens, telescope, land, machinery, building a great 

"And how much have you guaranteed on the cost of 
your lens -" 

"Sixteen thousand dollars, so far." 

"To be paid when?" 

"In instalments ten thousand a year for four years. 
Just enough to keep the lens-maker busy for the present." 

Cowperwood reflected. Ten thousand a year for four 
years would be a mere salary item, and at the end of that 
time he felt sure that he could supply the remainder of 
the money quite easily. He would be so much richer; his 
plans would be so much more mature. On such a repute 
(the ability to give a three-hundred-thousand-dollar tele- 
scope out of hand to be known as the Cowperwood tele- 
scope) he could undoubtedly raise money in London, New 
York, and elsewhere for his Chicago enterprise. The 
whole world would know him in a day. He paused, his 
enigmatic eyes revealing nothing of the splendid vision 
that danced before them. At last! At last! 

"How would it do, Mr. Hooper," he said, sweetly, "if, in- 



stead of ten men giving you four thousand each, as you 
plan, one man were to give you forty thousand in annual 
instalments of ten thousand each ? Could that be arranged 
as well?" 

"My dear Mr. Cowperwood," exclaimed the doctor, 
glowing, his eyes alight, "do I understand that you per- 
sonally might wish to give the money for this lens?" 

" I might, yes. But I should have to exact one pledge, 
Mr. Hooper, if I did any such thing." 

"And what would that be?" 

"The privilege of giving the land and the building the 
whole telescope, in fact. I presume no word of this will 
be given out unless the matter is favorably acted upon?" 
he added, cautiously and diplomatically. 

The new president of the university arose and eyed him 
with a peculiarly approbative and grateful gaze. He was 
a busy, overworked man. His task was large. Any bur- 
den taken from his shoulders in this fashion was a great 

"My answer to that, Mr. Cowperwood, if I had the au- 
thority, would be to agree now in the name of the Univer- 
sity, and thank you. For form's sake, I must submit the 
matter to the trustees of the University, but I have no 
doubt as to the outcome. I anticipate nothing but grateful 
approbation. Let me thank you again." 

They shook hands warmly, and the solid collegian bustled 
forth. Cowperwood sank quietly in his chair. He pressed 
his fingers together, and for a moment or two permitted 
himself to dream. Then he called a stenographer and be- 
can a bit of dictation. He did not care to think even to 
himself how universally advantageous all this might yet 
prove to be. 

The result was that in the course of a few weeks the proffer 
was formally accepted by the trustees of the University, 
and a report of the matter, with Cowperwood's formal con- 
sent, was given out for publication. The fortuitous com- 
bination of circumstances already described gave the mat- 
ter a unique news value. Giant reflectors and refractors 
had been given and were in use in other parts of the world, 
but none so large or so important as this. The gift was 



sufficient to set Cowperwood forth in the light of a public 
benefactor and patron of science. Not only in Chicago, 
but in London, Paris, and New York, wherever, indeed, in 
the great capitals scientific and intellectual men were gath- 
ered, this significant gift of an apparently fabulously rich 
American became the subject of excited discussion. Bank- 
ing men, among others, took sharp note of the donor, and 
when Cowperwood's emissaries came around later with a 
suggestion that the fifty-year franchises about to be voted 
him for elevated roads should be made a basis of bond and 
mortgage loans, they were courteously received. A man 
who could give three-hundred-thousand-dollar telescopes 
in the hour of his greatest difficulties must be in a rather 
satisfactory financial condition. He must have great 
wealth in reserve. After some preliminaries, during which 
Cowperwood paid a flying visit to Threadneedle Street in 
London, and to Wall Street in New York, an arrangement 
was made with an English-American banking company by 
which the majority of the bonds for his proposed roads were 
taken over by them for sale in Europe and elsewhere, and 
he was given ample means wherewith to proceed. Instant- 
ly the stocks of his surface lines bounded in price, and 
those who had been scheming to bring about Cowperwood's 
downfall gnashed impotent teeth. Even Haeckelheimer 
& Co. were interested. 

Anson Merrill, who had only a few weeks before given 
a large field for athletic purposes to the University, pulled 
a wry face over this sudden eclipse of his glory. Hosmer 
Hand, who had given a chemical laboratory, and Schry- 
hart, who had presented a dormitory, were depressed to 
think that a benefaction less costly than theirs should 
create, because of the distinction of the idea, so much more 
notable comment. It was merely another example of the 
brilliant fortune which seemed to pursue the man, the star 
that set all their plans at defiance. 



money requisite for the construction of elevated 
1 roads having been thus pyrotechnically obtained, the 
acquisition of franchises remained no easy matter. It in- 
volved, among other problems, the taming of Chaffee 
Thayer Sluss, who, quite unconscious of the evidence 
stored up against him, had begun to fulminate the moment 
it was suggested in various secret political quarters that a 
new ordinance was about to be introduced, and that Cowper- 
wood was to be the beneficiary. "Don't you let them do 
that, Mr. Sluss," observed Mr. Hand, who for purposes of 
conference had courteously but firmly bidden his hireling, 
the mayor, to lunch. "Don't you let them pass that if 
you can help it." (As chairman or president of the city 
council Mr. Sluss held considerable manipulative power 
over the machinery of procedure.) "Raise such a row that 
they won't try to pass it over your head. Your political 
future really depends on it your standing with the people 
of Chicago. The newspapers and the respectable financial 
and social elements will fully support you in this. Other- 
wise they will wholly desert you. Things have come to a 
handsome pass when men sworn and elected to perform 
given services turn on their backers and betray them in 
this way!" 

Mr. Hand was very wroth. 

Mr. Sluss, immaculate in black broadcloth and white 
linen, was very sure that he would fulfil to the letter all of 
Mr. Hand's suggestions. The proposed ordinance should 
be denounced by him; its legislative progress heartily 
opposed in council. 

"They shall get no quarter from me!" he declared, em- 
phatically. "I know what the scheme is. They know 
that I know it." 



He looked at Mr. Hand quite as one advocate of right- 
eousness should look at another, and the rich promoter 
went away satisfied that the reins of government were in 
safe hands. Immediately afterward Mr. Sluss gave out an 
interview in which he served warning on all aldermen and 
counciimen that no such ordinance as the one in question 
would ever be signed by him as mayor. 

At half past ten on the same morning on which the 
interview appeared the hour at which Mr. Sluss usually 
reached his office his private telephone bell rang, and an 
assistant inquired if he would be willing to speak with 
Mr. Frank A. Cowperwood. Mr. Sluss, somehow antici- 
pating fresh laurels of victory, gratified by the front-page 
display given his announcement in the morning papers, 
and swelling internally with civic pride, announced, 
solemnly: "Yes; connect me." 

"Mr. Sluss," began Cowperwood, at the other end, "this 
is Frank A. Cowperwood. " 

"Yes. What can I do for you, Mr. Cowperwood?" 

"I see by the morning papers that you state that you 
will have nothing to do with any proposed ordinance which 
looks to giving me a franchise for any elevated road on 
the North or West Side?" 

"That is quite true," replied Mr. Sluss, loftily. "I 
will not." 

"Don't you think it is rather premature, Mr. Sluss, to 
denounce something which has only a rumored existence?" 
(Cowperwood, smiling sweetly to himself, was quite like a 
cat playing with an unsuspicious mouse.) "I should like 
very much to talk this whole matter over with you per- 
sonally before you take an irrevocable attitude. It is just 
possible that after you have heard my side you may not 
be so completely opposed to me. From time to time I have 
sent to you several of my personal friends, but apparently 
you do not care to receive them." 

"Quite true," replied Mr. Sluss, loftily; "but you must 
remember that I am a very busy man, Mr. Cowperwood, 
and, besides, I do not see how I can serve any of your pur- 
poses. You are working for a set of conditions to which 
I am morally and temperamentally opposed. I am work- 
ing for another. I do not see that we have any common 



ground on which to meet. In fact, I do not see how I 
can be of any service to you whatsoever." 

"Just a moment, please, Mr. Mayor," replied Cowper- 
wood, still very sweetly, and fearing that Sluss might choose 
to hang up the receiver, so superior was his tone. '* There 
may be some common ground of which you do not know. 
Wouldn't you like to come to lunch at my residence or re- 
ceive me at yours ? Or let me come to your office and talk 
this matter over. I believe you will find it the part of 
wisdom as well as of courtesy to do this." 

"I cannot possibly lunch with you to-day," replied Sluss, 
"and I cannot see you, either. There are a number of 
things pressing for my attention. I must say also that I 
cannot hold any back-room conferences with you or your 
emissaries. If you come you must submit to the presence 
of others." 

"Very well, Mr. Sluss," replied Cowperwood, cheerfully. 
"I will not come to your office. But unless you come to 
mine before five o'clock this afternoon you will face by 
noon to-morrow a suit for breach of promise, and your 
letters to Mrs. Brandon will be given to the public. I wish 
to remind you that an election is coming on, and that 
Chicago favors a mayor who is privately moral as well as 
publicly so. Good morning." 

Mr. Cowperwood hung up his telephone receiver with a 
click, and Mr. Sluss sensibly and visibly stiffened and 
paled. Mrs. Brandon! The charming, lovable, discreet 
Mrs. Brandon who had so ungenerously left him! Why 
should she be thinking of suing him for breach of promise, 
and how did his letter to her come to be in Cowperwood's 
hands? Good heavens those mushy letters! His wife! 
His children! His church and the owlish pastor thereof! 
Chicago! And its conventional, moral, religious atmos- 
phere! Come to think of it, Mrs. Brandon had scarcely 
if ever written him a note of any kind. He did not even 
know her history. 

At the thought of Mrs. Sluss her hard, cold, blue eyes 
Mr. Sluss arose, tall and distrait, and ran his hand through 
his hair. He walked to the window, snapping his thumb 
and middle finger and looking eagerly at the floor. He 
thought of the telephone switchboard just outside his 



private office, and wondered whether his secretary, a hand- 
some young Presbyterian girl, had been listening, as usual. 
Oh, this sad, sad world! If the North Side ever learned 
of this Hand, the newspapers, young MacDonald would 
they protect him? They would not. Would they run 
him for mayor again? Never! Could the public be in- 
duced to vote for him with all the churches fulminating 
agamst private immorality, hypocrites, and whited sepul- 
chers? Oh, Lord! Oh, Lord! And he was so very, very 
much respected and looked up to that was the worst of 
it all. This terrible demon Cowperwood had descended 
on him, and he had thought himself so secure. He had not 
even been civil to Cowperwood. What if the latter chose 
to avenge the discourtesy? 

Mr. Sluss went back to his chair, but he could not sit 
in it. He went for his coat, took it down, hung it up again, 
took it down, announced over the 'phone that he could not 
see any one for several hours, and went out by a private 
door. Wearily he walked along North Clark Street, look- 
ing at the hurly-burly of traffic, looking at the dirty, 
crowded river, looking at the sky and smoke and gray build- 
ings, and wondering what he should do. The world was so 
hard at times; it was so cruel. His wife, his family, his 
political career. He could not conscientiously sign any 
ordinances for Mr. Cowperwood that would be immoral, 
dishonest, a scandal to the city. Mr. Cowperwood was a 
notorious traitor to the public welfare. At the same time 
he could not very well refuse, for here was Mrs. Brandon, 
the charming and unscrupulous creature, playing into the 
hands of Cowperwood. If he could only meet her, beg of 
her, plead; but where was she? He had not seen her for 
months and months. Could he go to Hand and confess all ? 
But Hand was a hard, cold, moral man also. Oh, Lord! 
Oh, Lord! He wondered and thought, and sighed and 
pondered all without avail. 

Pity the poor earthling caught in the toils of the moral 
law. In another country, perhaps, in another day, another 
age, such a situation would have been capable of a solution, 
one not utterly destructive to Mr. Sluss, and not entirely 
favorable to a man like Cowperwood. But here in the 
United States, here in Chicago, the ethical verities would all, 



as he knew, be lined up against him. What Lake View would 
think, what his pastor would think, what Hand and all his 
moral associates would think ah, these were the terrible, 
the incontrovertible consequences of his lapse from virtue. 

At four o'clock, after Mr. Sluss had wandered for hours 
in the snow and cold, belaboring himself for a fool and a 
knave, and while Cowperwood was sitting at his desk sign- 
ing papers, contemplating a glowing fire, and wondering 
whether the mayor would deem it advisable to put in an 
appearance, his office door opened and one of his trim 
stenographers entered announcing Mr. Chaffee Thayer Sluss. 
Enter Mayor Sluss, sad, heavy, subdued, shrunken, a very 
different gentleman from the one who had talked so cavalier- 
ly over the wires some five and a half hours before. Gray 
weather, severe cold, and much contemplation of seemingly 
irreconcilable facts had reduced his spirits greatly. He 
was a little pale and a little restless. Mental distress has 
a reducing, congealing effect, and Mayor Sluss seemed 
somewhat less than his usual self in height, weight, and 
thickness. Cowperwood had seen him more than once on 
various political platforms, but he had never met him. 
When the troubled mayor entered he arose courteously and 
waved him to a chair. 

"Sit down, Mr. Sluss," he said, genially. "It's a dis- 
agreeable day out, isn't it? I suppose you have come in 
regard to the matter we were discussing this morning?" 
| Nor was this cordiality wholly assumed. One of the 
primal instincts of Cowperwood's nature for all his 
chicane and subtlety was to take no rough advantage 
of a beaten enemy. In the hour of victory he was always 
courteous, bland, gentle, and even sympathetic; he was 
so to-day, and quite honestly, too. 

Mayor Sluss put down the high sugar-loaf hat he wore 
and said, grandiosely, as was his manner even in the direst 
extremity: "Well, you see, I am here, Mr. Cowperwood. 
What is it you wish me to do, exactly?" 

"Nothing unreasonable, I assure you, Mr. Sluss," replied 
Cowperwood. "Your manner to me this morning was a 
little brusque, and, as I have always wanted to have a 
sensible private talk with you, I took this way of getting 
it. I should like you to dismiss from your mind at once 



the thought that I am going to take an unfair advantage of 
you in any way. I have no present intention of publishing 
your correspondence with Mrs. Brandon." (As he said this 
he took from his drawer a bundle of letters which Mayor 
Sluss recognized at once as the enthusiastic missives which 
he had sometime before penned to the fair Claudia. Mr. 
Sluss groaned as he beheld this incriminating evidence.) 
"I am not trying," continued Cowperwopd, " to wreck your 
career, nor to make you do anything which you do not feel 
that you can conscientiously undertake. The letters that 
I have here, let me say, have come to me quite,by accident. 
I did not seek them. But, since I do have them, I thought 
I might as well mention them as a basis for a possible talk 
and compromise between us." 

Cowperwood did not smile. He merely looked thought- 
fully at Sluss; then, by way of testifying to the truthful- 
ness of what he had been saying, thumped the letters up 
and down, just to show that they were real. 

"Yes," said Mr. Sluss, heavily, "I see." 

He studied the bundle a small, solid affair while Cow- 
perwood looked discreetly elsewhere. He contemplated 
nis own shoes, the floor. He rubbed his hands and then 
his knees. 

Cowperwood saw how completely he had collapsed. It 
was ridiculous, pitiable. 

"Come, Mr. Sluss," said Cowperwood, amiably, "cheer 
up. Things are not nearly as desperate as you think. I 
give you my word right now that nothing which you your- 
self, on mature thought, could say was unfair will be done. 
You are the mayor of Chicago. I am a citizen. I 
merely wish fair play from you. I merely ask you to give 
me your word of honor that from now on you will take no 
part in this fight which is one of pure spite against me. If 
you cannot conscientiously aid me in what I consider to 
be a perfectly legitimate demand for additional franchises, 
you will, at least, not go out of your way to publicly attack 
me. I will put these letters in my safe, and there they will 
stay until the next campaign is over, when I will take them 
out and destroy them. I have no personal feeling against 
you none in the world. I do not ask you to sign any 
ordinance which the council may pass giving me elevated- 



road rights. What I do wish you to do at this time is 
to refrain from stirring up public sentiment against me, 
especially if the council should see fit to pass an ordinance 
over your veto. Is that satisfactory?" 

" But my friends ? The public ? The Republican party ? 
Don't you see it is expected of me that I should wage some 
form of campaign against you ?" queried Sluss, nervously. 

"No, I don't," replied Cowperwood, succinctly, "and, 
anyhow, there are ways and ways of waging a public cam- 
paign. Go through the motions, if you wish, but don't put 
too much heart in it. And, anyhow, see some one of my 
lawyers from time to time when they call on you. Judge 
Dickensheets is an able and fair man. So is General Van 
Sickle. Why not confer with them occasionally ? not pub- 
licly, of course, but in some less conspicuous way. You 
will find both of them most helpful." 

Cowperwood smiled encouragingly, quite beneficently, 
and Chaffee Thayer Sluss, his political hopes gone glimmer- 
ing, sat and mused for a few moments in a sad and helpless 

"Very well," he said,*at last, rubbing his hands feverishly. 
"It is what I might have expected. I should have known. 
There is no other way, but Hardly able to repress the 
hot tears now burning beneath his eyelids, the Hon. Mr. 
Sluss picked up his hat and left the room. Needless to add 
that his preachings against Cowperwood were permanently 



'"PHE effect of all this was to arouse in Cowperwood the 
1 keenest feelings of superiority he had ever yet enjoyed. 
Hitherto he had fancied that his enemies might worst him, 
but at last his path seemed clear. He was now worth, 
all in all, the round sum of twenty million dollars. His 
art-collection had become the most important in the West 
perhaps in the nation, public collections excluded. He 
began to envision himself as a national figure, possibly 
even an international one. And yet he was coming to feel 
that, no matter how complete his financial victory might 
ultimately be, the chances were that he and Aileen would 
never be socially accepted here in Chicago. He had done 
too many boisterous things alienated too many people. 
He was as determined as ever to retain a firm grip on 
the Chicago street-railway situation. But he was dis- 
turbed for a second time in his life by the [thought that, 
owing to the complexities of his own temperament, he had 
married unhappily and would find the situation difficult of 
adjustment. Aileen, whatever might be said of her de- 
ficiencies, was by no means as tractable or acquiescent as his 
first wife. And, besides, he felt that he owed her a better 
turn. By no means did he actually dislike her as yet; 
though she was no longer soothing, stimulating, or sug- 
gestive to him as she had formerly been. Her woes, be- 
cause of him, were too many; her attitude toward him too 
censorious. He was perfectly willing to sympathize with 
her, to regret his own change of feeling, but what would 
you? He could not control his own temperament any 
more than Aileen could control hers. 

The worst of this situation was that it was now becoming 
complicated on Cowperwood's part with the most disturb- 



ing thoughts concerning Berenice Fleming. Ever since the 
days when he had first met her mother he had been coming 
more and more to feel for the young girl a soul-stirring 
passion and that without a single look exchanged or a 
single word spoken. There is a static something which 
is beauty, and this may be clothed in the habiliments of 
a ragged philosopher or in the silks and satins of pampered 
coquetry. It was a suggestion of this beauty which is 
above sex and above age and above wealth that shone in 
the blowing hair and night-blue eyes of Berenice Fleming. 
His visit to the Carter family at Pocono had been a dis- 
appointment to him, because of the apparent hopelessness 
of arousing Berenice's interest, and since that time, and 
during their casual encounters, she had remained politely 
indifferent. Nevertheless, he remained true to his per- 
sistence in the pursuit of any game he had fixed upon. 
Mrs. Carter, whose relations with Cowperwood had in 
the past been not wholly platonic, nevertheless attributed 
much of his interest in her to her children and their vital 
chance. Berenice and Rolfe themselves knew nothing 
concerning the nature of their mother's arrangements^with 
Cowperwood. True to his promise of protectorship and 
assistance, he had established her in a New York apart- 
ment adjacent to her daughter's school, and where he 
fancied that he himself might spend many happy hours 
were Berenice but near. Proximity to Berenice! The 
desire to arouse her interest and command her favor! 
Cowperwood would scarcely have cared to admit to him- 
self how great a part this played in a thought which had 
recently been creeping into his mind. It was that of 
erecting a splendid house in New York. 

By degrees this idea of building a New York house had 
grown upon him. His Chicago mansion was a costly 
.sepulcher in which Aileen sat brooding over the woes which 
had befallen her. Moreover, aside from the social defeat 
which it represented, it was becoming merely as a structure, 
but poorly typical of the splendor and ability of his im- 
aginations. This second dwelling, if he ever achieved it, 
should be resplendent, a monument to himself. In his 
speculative wanderings abroad he had seen many such 
great palaces, designed with the utmost care, which had 


housed the taste and culture of generations of men. 
His art - collection, in which he took an immense pride, 
had been growing, until it was the basis if not the completed 
substance for a very splendid memorial. Already in it 
were gathered paintings of all the important schools; to 
say nothing of collections of jade, illumined missals, porce- 
lains, rugs, draperies, mirror frames, and a beginning at 
rare originals of sculpture. The beauty of these strange 
things, the patient laborings of inspired souls of various 
times and places, moved him, on occasion, to a gentle awe. 
Of all individuals he respected, indeed revered, the sincere 
artist. Existence was a mystery, but these souls who set 
themselves to quiet tasks of beauty had caught some- 
thing of which he was dimly conscious. Life had touched 
them with a vision, their hearts and souls were attuned to 
sweet harmonies of which the common world knew nothing. 
Sometimes, when he was weary after a strenuous day, he 
would enter late in the night his now silent gallery, and 
turning on the lights so that the whole sweet room stood 
revealed, he would seat himself before some treasure, re- 
flecting on the nature, the mood, the time, and the man 
that had produced it. Sometimes it would be one of Rem- 
brandt's melancholy heads the sad "Portrait of a Rabbi" 
or the sweet introspection of a Rousseau stream. A 
solemn Dutch housewife, rendered with the bold fidelity and 
resonant enameled surfaces of a Hals or the cold elegance 
of an Ingres, commanded his utmost enthusiasm. So he 
would sit and wonder at the vision and skill of the original 
dreamer, exclaiming at times: "A marvel! A marvel!" 

At the same time, so far as Aileen was concerned things were 
obviously shaping up for additional changes. She was in that 
peculiar state which has befallen many a woman trying to 
substitute a lesser ideal for a greater, and finding that the 
effort is useless or nearly so. In regard to her affair with* 
Lynde, aside from the temporary relief and diversion it had 
afforded her, she was beginning to feel that she had made 
a serious mistake. Lynde was delightful, after his fashion. 
He could amuse her with a different type of experience 
from any that Cowperwood had to relate. Once they were 
intimate he had, with an easy, genial air, confessed to all 



sorts of liaisons in Europe and America. He was utterly 
pagan a faun and at the same time he was truly of the 
smart world. His open contempt of all but one or two of 
the people in Chicago whom Aileen had secretly admired 
and wished to associate with, and his easy references 
to figures of importance in the East and in Paris and 
London, raised him amazingly in her estimation; it 
made her feel, sad to relate, that she had by no means 
lowered herself in succumbing so readily to his forceful 

Nevertheless, because he was what he was genial, com- 
plimentary, affectionate, but a playboy, merely, and a soldier 
of fortune, with no desire to make over her life for her on any 
new basis she was now grieving over the futility of this ro- 
mance which had got her nowhere, and which, in all prob- 
ability, had alienated Cowperwood for good. He was still 
outwardly genial and friendly, but their relationship was 
now colored by a sense of mistake and uncertainty which 
existed on both sides, but which, in Aileen's case, amounted 
to a subtle species of soul-torture. Hitherto she had been 
the aggrieved one, the one whose loyalty had never been 
in question, and whose persistent affection and faith had 
been greatly sinned against. Now all this was changed. 
The manner in which he had sinned against her was plain 
enough, but the way in which, out of pique, she had for- 
saken him was in the other balance. Say what one will, 
the loyalty of woman, whether a condition in nature or an 
evolved accident of sociology, persists as a dominating 
thought in at least a section of the race; and women them- 
selves, be it said, are the ones who most loudly and openly 
subscribe to it. Cowperwood himself was fully aware that 
Aileen had deserted him, not because she loved him less or 
Lynde more, but because she was hurt and deeply so. 
Aileen knew that he knew this. From one point of view 
it enraged her and made her defiant; from another it 
grieved her to think she had uselessly sinned against his 
faith in her. Now he had ample excuse to do anything he 
chose. Her best claim on him her wounds she had 
thrown away as one throws away a weapon. Her pride 
would not let her talk to him about this, and at the same 
time she could not endure the easy, tolerant manner with 



which he took it. His smiles, his forgiveness, his some- 
times pleasant jesting were all a horrible offense. 

To complete her mental quandary, she was already 
beginning to quarrel with Lynde over this matter of her 
unbreakable regard for Cowperwood. With the sufficiency 
of a man of the world Lynde intended that she should suc- 
cumb to him completely and forget her wonderful husband. 
When with him she was apparently charmed and interested, 
yielding herself freely, but this was more out of pique at 
Cowperwood's neglect than from any genuine passion for 
Lynde. In spite of her pretensions of anger, her sneers, and 
criticisms whenever Cowperwood's name came up, she was, 
nevertheless, hopelessly fond of him and identified with 
him spiritually, and it was not long before Lynde began to 
suspect this. Such a discovery is a sad one for any master 
of women to make. It jolted his pride severely. 

"You care for him still, don't you?" he asked, with a 
wry smile, upon one occasion. They were sitting at dinner 
in a private room at Kinsley's, and Aileen, whose color was 
high, and who was becomingly garbed in metallic-green silk, 
was looking especially handsome. Lynde had been propos- 
ing that she should make special arrangements to depart 
with him for a three-months' stay in Europe, but she would 
have nothing to do with the project. She did not dare. 
Such a move would make Cowperwood feel that she was 
alienating herself forever; it would give him an excellent 
excuse to leave her. 

"Oh, it isn't that," she had declared, in reply to Lynde's 
query. "I just don't want to go. I can't. I'm not pre- 
pared. It's nothing but a notion of yours, anyhow. 
You're tired of Chicago because it's getting near spring. 
You go and I'll be here when you come back, or I may de- 
cide to come over later." She smiled. 

Lynde pulled a dark face. 

"Hell!" he said. "I know how it is with you. You still 
stick to him, even when he treats you like a dog. You 
pretend not to love him when as a matter of fact you're 
mad about him. I've seen it all along. You don't really 
care anything about me. You can't. You're too crazy 
about him." 

"Oh, shut up!" replied Aileen, irritated greatly for the 



moment by this onslaught. "You talk like a fool. I'm 
not anything of the sort. I admire him. How could any 
one help it?" (At this time, of course, Cowperwood s 
name was filling the city.) "He's a very wonderful man. 
He was never brutal to me. He's a full-sized man I'll 
say that for him." 

By now Aileen had become sufficiently familiar with 
Lynde to criticize him in her own mind, and even outwardly 
by innuendo, for being a loafer and idler who had never 
created in any way the money he was so freely spending. 
She had little power to psychologize concerning social 
conditions, but the stalwart constructive persistence of 
Cowperwood along commercial lines coupled with the 
current American contempt of leisure reflected somewhat 
unfavorably upon Lynde, she thought. 

Lynde's face clouded still more at this outburst. "You 
go to the devil," he retorted. "I don't get you at all. 
Sometimes you talk as though you were fond of me. At 
other times you're all wrapped up in him. Now you 
either care for me or you don't. Which is it? If you're 
so crazy about him that you can't leave home for a month 
or so you certainly can't care much about me." 

Aileen, however, because of her long experience with 
Cowperwood, was more than a match for Lynde. At the 
same time she was afraid to let go of him for fear that she 
should have no one to care for her. She liked him. He 
was a happy resource in her misery, at least for the 
moment. Yet the knowledge that Cowperwood looked 
upon this affair as a heavy blemish on her pristine soli- 
darity cooled her. At the thought of him and of her whole 
tarnished and troubled career she was very unhappy. 

"Hell!" Lynde had repeated, irritably, "stay if you want 
to. I'll not be trying to over-persuade you depend on that." 

They quarreled still further over this matter, and, though 
they eventually made up, both sensed the drift toward an 
ultimately unsatisfactory conclusion. 

It was one morning not long after this that Cowperwood, 
feeling in a genial mood over his affairs, came into Aileen's 
room, as he still did on occasions, to finish dressing and pass 
the time of day. 

13 385 


"Well," he observed, gaily, as he stood before the mirror 
adjusting his collar and tie, "how are you and Lynde get- 
ting along these days nicely?" 

"Oh, you go to the devil!" replied Aileen, flaring up and 
struggling with her divided feelings, which pained her con- 
stantly. "If it hadn't been for you there wouldn't be any 
chance for your smarty 'how-am-I-getting-alongs.' I am 
getting along all right fine regardless of anything you 
may think. He's as good a man as you are any day, and 
better. I like him. At least he's fond of me, and that's 
more than you are. Why should you care what I do? You 
don't, so why talk about it? I want you to let me alone." 

"Aileen, Aileen, how you carry on! Don't flare up so. 
I meant nothing by it. I'm sorry as much for myself as 
for you. I've told you I'm not jealous. You think I'm 
critical. I'm not anything of the kind. I know how you 
feel. That's all very good." 

"Oh yes, yes," she replied. "Well, you can keep your 
feelings to yourself. Go to the devil 1 Go to the devil, I 
tell you!" Her eyes blazed. 

He stood now, fully dressed, in the center of the rug be- 
fore her, and Aileen looked at him, keen, valiant, handsome 
her old Frank. Once again she regretted her nominal 
faithlessness, and raged at him in her heart for his indiffer- 
ence. "You dog," she was about to add, "you have no 
heart!" but she changed her mind. Her throat tightened 
and her eyes filled. She wanted to run to him and say: 
"Oh, Frank, don't you understand how it all is, how it all 
came about? Won't you love me again can't you?" 
But she restrained herself. It seemed to her that he 
might understand that he would, in fact but that he 
would never again be faithful, anyhow. And she would so 
gladly have discarded Lynde and any and all men if he 
would only have said the word, would only have really 
and sincerely wished her to do so. 

It was one day not long after their morning quarrel in 
her bedroom that Cowperwood broached the matter or 
living in New York to Aileen, pointing out that thereby 
his art-collection, which was growing constantly, might be 
more suitably housed, and that it would give her a second 
opportunity to enter social life. 


"So that you can get rid of me out here," commented 
Aileen, little knowing of Berenice Fleming. 

"Not at all," replied Cowperwood, sweetly. "You see 
how things are. There's no chance of our getting into 
Chicago society. There's too much financial opposition 
against me here. If we had a big house in New York, such 
as I would build, it would be an introduction in itself. 
After all, these Chicagoans aren't even a snapper on the 
real society whip. It s the Easterners who set the pace, 
and the New-Yorkers most of all. If you want to say the 
word, I can sell this place and we can live down there, 
part of the time, anyhow. I could spend as much of my 
time with you there as I have been doing here perhaps 

Because of her soul of vanity Aileen's mind ran forward 
in spite of herself to the wider opportunities which his 
words suggested. This house had become a nightmare to her 
a pfece of neglect and bad memories. Here she had 
fought with Rita Sohlberg; here she had seen society come 
for a very little while only to disappear; here she had waited 
this long time for the renewal of (Jowperwood's love, which 
was now obviously never to be restored in its original 
glamour. As he spoke she looked at him quizzically, almost 
sadly in her great doubt. At the same time she could not 
help reflecting that in New York where money counted for 
so much, and with Cowperwood's great and growing wealth 
and prestige behind her, she might hope to find herself 
socially at last. "Nothing venture, nothing have" had 
always been her motto, nailed to her mast, though her equip- 
ment for the life she now craved had never been more 
than the veriest make-believe painted wood and tinsel. 
Vain, radiant, hopeful Aileen! Yet how was she to know? 

"Very well," she observed, finally. "Do as you like. 
I can live down there as well as I can here, I presume 

Cowperwood knew the nature of her longings. He knew 
what was running in her mind, and how futile were her 
dreams. Life had taught him how fortuitous must be the 
circumstances which could enable a woman of Aileen's 
handicaps and defects to enter that cold upper world. 
Yet for all the courage of him, for the very life of him, he 



could not tell her. He could not forget that once, behind 
the grim bars in the penitentiary for the Eastern District 
of Pennsylvania, he had cried on her shoulder. He could 
not be an ingrate and wound her with his inmost thoughts 
any more than he could deceive himself. A New York 
mansion and the dreams of social supremacy which she 
might there entertain would soothe her ruffled vanity and 
assuage her disappointed heart; and at the same time he 
would be nearer Berenice Fleming. Say what one will 
of these ferret windings of the human mind, they are, 
nevertheless, true and characteristic of the average human 
being, and Cowperwood was no exception. He saw it all, 
he calculated on it he calculated on the simple humanity of 



THE complications which had followed his various sen- 
timental affairs left Cowperwood in a quandary at times 
as to whether there could be any peace or satisfaction 
outside of monogamy, after all. Although Mrs. Hand had 
gone to Europe at the crisis of her affairs, she had returned 
to seek him out. Cecily Haguenin found many oppor- 
tunities of writing him letters and assuring him of her un- 
dying affection. Florence Cochrane persisted in seeing or 
attempting to see him even after his interest in her began 
to wane. For another thing Aileen, owing to the compli- 
cation and general degeneracy of her affairs, had recently 
begun to drink. Owing to the failure of her affair with 
Lynde for in spite of her yielding she had never had any 
real heart interest in it and to the cavalier attitude with 
which Cowperwood took her disloyalty, she had reached 
that state of speculative doldrums where the human animal 
turns upon itself in bitter self-analysis; the end with the 
more sensitive or the less durable is dissipation or even 
death. Woe to him who places his faith in illusion the 
only reality and woe to him who does not. In one way 
lies disillusion with its pain, in the other way regret. 

After Lynde's departure for Europe, whither she had 
refused to follow him, Aileen took up with a secondary 
personage by the name of Watson Skeet, a sculptor. Un- 
like most artists, he was the solitary heir of the president 
of an immense furniture-manufacturing company in which 
he refused to take any interest. He had studied abroad, 
but had returned to Chicago with a view to propagating 
art in the West. A large, blond, soft-fleshed man, he had a 
kind of archaic naturalness and simplicity which appealed 
to Aileen. They had met at the Rhees Criers'. Feeling 



herself neglected after Lynde's departure, and dreading 
loneliness above all things, Aileen became intimate with 
Skeet, but to no intense mental satisfaction. That driving 
standard within that obsessing ideal which requires that 
all things be measured by it was still dominant. Who 
has not experienced the chilling memory of the better 
thing? How it creeps over the spirit of one's current 
dreams! Like the specter at the banquet it stands, its 
substanceless eyes viewing with a sad philosophy the make- 
shift feast. The what-might-have-been of her life with 
Cowperwood walked side by side with her wherever she 
went. Once occasionally indulging in cigarettes, she now 
smoked almost constantly. Once barely sipping at wines, 
cocktails, brandy-and-soda, she now took to the latter, or, 
rather, to a new whisky-and-soda combination known as 
"highball" with a kind of vehemence which had little to do 
with a taste for the thing itself. True, drinking is, after 
all, a state of mind, and not an appetite. She had found 
on a number of occasions when she nad been quarreling with 
Lynde or was mentally depressed that in partaking of 
these drinks a sort of warm, speculative indifference seized 
upon her. She was no longer so sad. She might cry, 
but it was in a soft, rainy, relieving way. Her sorrows 
were as strange, enticing figures in dreams. They moved 
about and around her, not as things actually identical with 
her, but as ills which she could view at a distance. Some- 
times both she and they (for she saw herself also as in a 
kind of mirage or inverted vision) seemed beings of another 
state, troubled, but not bitterly painful. The old nepenthe 
of the bottle had seized upon her. After a few accidental 
lapses, in which she found it acted as a solace or sedative, 
the highball visioned itself to her as a resource. Why 
should she not drink if it relieved her, as it actually did, 
of physical and mental pain? There were apparently 
no bad after-effects. The whisky involved was diluted to 
an almost watery state. It was her custom now when at 
home alone to go to the butler's pantry where the liquors were 
stored and prepare a drink for herself, or to order a tray 
with a siphon and bottle placed in her room. Cowperwood, 
noticing the persistence of its presence there and the fact 
that she drank heavily at table, commented upon it. 



"You're not taking too much of that, are you, Aileen?" 
he questioned one evening, watching her drink down a 
tumbler of whisky and water as she sat contemplating a 
pattern of needlework with which the table was orna- 

"Certainly I'm not," she replied, irritably, a little 
flushed and thick of tongue. "Why do you ask?" She 
herself had been wondering whether in the course of time 
it might not have a depreciating effect on her complexion. 
This was the only thing that still concerned her her 

"Well, I see you have that bottle in your room all the 
time. I was wondering if you might not be forgetting how 
much you are using it." 

Because she was so sensitive he was trying to be tactful. 

"Well," she answered, crossly, "what if I am? It 
wouldn't make any particular difference if I did. I might 
as well drink as do some other things that are done." 

It was a kind of satisfaction to her to bait him in this way. 
His inquiry, being a proof of continued interest on his 
part, was of some value. At least he was not entirely 
indifferent to her. 

"I wish you wouldn't talk that way, Aileen," he replied. 
"I have no objection to your drinking some. I don't sup- 
pose it makes any difference to you now whether I object 
or not. But you are too good-looking, too well set up 
physically, to begin that. You don't need it, and it's such 
a short road to hell. Your state isn't so bad. Good 
heavens! many another woman has been in your position. 
I'm not going to leave you unless you want to leave me. 
I've told you that over and over. I'm just sorry people 
change we all do. I suppose I've changed some, but 
that's no reason for your letting yourself go to pieces. I 
wish you wouldn't be desperate about this business. 
It may come out better than you think in the long run." 

He was merely talking to console her. 

"Oh! oh! oh!" Aileen suddenly began to rock and cry 
in a foolish drunken way, as though her heart would 
break, and Cowperwood got up. He was horrified after 
a fashion. 

"Oh, don't come near me!" Aileen suddenly exclaimed, 



sobering in an equally strange way. "I know why you 
come. I know how much you care about me or my looks. 
Don't you worry whether I drink or not. I'll drink if I 
please, or do anything else if I choose. If it helps me over 
my difficulties, that's my business, not yours," and in de- 
fiance she prepared another glass and drank it. 

Cowperwood shook his head, looking at her steadily and 
sorrowfully. "It's too bad, Aileen," he said. "I don't 
know what to do about you exactly. You oughtn't to go 
on this way. Whisky won't get you anywhere. It will 
simply ruin your looks and make you miserable in the 

"Oh, to hell with my looks!" she snapped. "A lot of 
good they've done me." And, feeling contentious and sad, 
she got up and left the table. Cowperwood followed her 
after a time, only to see her dabbing at her eyes and nose 
with powder. A half -filled glass of whisky and water 
was on the dressing-table beside her. It gave him a 
strange feeling of responsibility and helplessness. 

Mingled with his anxiety as to Aileen were thoughts of 
the alternate rise and fall of his hopes in connection with 
Berenice. She was such a superior girl, developing so defi- 
nitely as an individual. To his satisfaction she had, on 
a few recent occasions when he had seen her, unbent suffi- 
ciently to talk to him in a friendly and even intimate way, 
for she was by no means hoity-toity, but a thinking, rea- 
soning being of the profoundest intellectual, or, rather, the 
highest artistic tendencies. She was so care-free, living in 
a high and solitary world, at times apparently enwrapt in 
thoughts serene, at other times sharing vividly in the cur- 
rent interests of the social world of which she was a part, 
and which she dignified as much as it dignified her. 

One Sunday morning at Pocono, in late June weather, 
when he had come East to rest for a few days, and all was 
still and airy on the high ground which the Carter cottage 
occupied, Berenice came out on the veranda where Cowper- 
wood was sitting, reading a fiscal report of one of his com- 
panies and meditating on his affairs. By now they had 
become somewhat more sympatica than formerly, and 
Berenice had an easy, genial way in his presence. She 
liked him, rather. With an indescribable smile which 



wrinkled her nose and eyes, and played about the comers 
of her mouth, she said: 

"Now I am going to catch a bird." 

"A what?" asked Cowperwood, looking up and pretend- 
ing he had not heard, though he had. He was all eyes for 
any movement of hers. She was dressed in a flouncy 
morning gown eminently suitable for the world in which 
she was moving. 

"A bird," she replied, with an airy toss of her head. 
"This is June-time, and the sparrows are teaching their 
young to fly." 

Cowperwood, previously engrossed in financial specula- 
tions, was translated, as by the wave of a fairy wand, into 
another realm where birds and fledglings and grass and the 
light winds of heaven were more important than brick and 
stone and stocks and bonds. He got up and followed her 
flowing steps across the grass to where, near a clump of 
alder bushes, she had seen a mother sparrow enticing a 
fledgling to take wing. From her room up-stairs she had 
been watching this bit of outdoor sociology. It suddenly 
came to Cowperwood, with great force, how comparatively 
unimportant in the great drift of life were his own affairs 
when about him was operative all this splendid will to exist- 
ence, as sensed by her. He saw her stretch out her hands 
downward, and run in an airy, graceful way, stooping here 
and there, while before her fluttered a baby sparrow, until 
suddenly she dived quickly and then, turning, her face 
agleam, cried: "See, I have him! He wants to fight, too! 
Oh, you little dear!" 

She was holding "him," as she chose to characterize it, 
in the hollow of her hand, the head between her thumb and 
forefinger, with the forefinger of her free hand petting it 
the while she laughed and kissed it. It was not so much 
bird-love as the artistry of life and of herself that was moving 
her. Hearing the parent bird chirping distractedly from 
a near-by limb, she turned and called: "Don't make such 
a row! I sha'n't keep him long." 

Cowperwood laughed trig in the morning sun. "You 
can scarcely blame her," he commented. 

"Oh, she knows well enough I wouldn't hurt him," Bere- 
nice replied, spiritedly, as though it were literally true. 



"Does she, indeed?" inquired Cowperwood. "Why do 
you say that?" 

"Because it's true. Don't you think they know when 
their children are really in danger?" 

" But why should they?" persisted Cowperwood, charmed 
and interested by the involute character of her logic. She 
was quite deceptive to him. He could not be sure what she 

She merely fixed him a moment with her cool, slate-blue 
eyes. ' Do you think the senses of the world are only five ?" 
she asked, in the most charming and non-reproachful way. 
"Indeed, they know well enough. She knows." She 
turned and waved a graceful hand in the direction of the 
tree, where peace now reigned. The chirping had ceased. 
"She knows I am not a cat." 

Again that enticing, mocking smile that wrinkled her 
nose, her eye-corners, her mouth. The word "cat" had a 
sharp, sweet sound in her mouth. It seemed to be bitten 
off closely with force and airy spirit. Cowperwood sur- 
veyed her as he would have surveyed the ablest person he 
knew. Here was a woman, he saw, who could and would 
command the utmost reaches of his soul in every direction. 
If he interested her at all, he would need them all. The 
eyes of her were at once so elusive, so direct, so friendly, so 
cool and keen. "You will have to be interesting, indeed, 
to interest me," they seemed to say; and yet they were by 
no means averse, apparently, to a hearty camaraderie. 
That nose-wrinkling smile said as much. Here was by no 
means a Stephanie Platow, nor yet a Rita Sohlberg. He 
could not assume her as he had Ella Hubby, or Florence 
Cochrane, or Cecily Haguenin. Here was an iron indi- 
viduality with a soul for romance and art and philosophy 
and life. He could not take her as he had those others. 
And yet Berenice was really beginning to think more than 
a little about Cowperwood. He must be an extraordinary 
man; her mother said so, and the newspapers were always 
mentioning his name and noting his movements. 

A little later, at Southampton, whither she and her 
mother had gone, they met again. Together with a young 
man by the name of Greanelle, Cowperwood and Berenice 
had gone into the sea to bathe. It was a wonderful after- 



noon. To the east and south and west spread the sea, a 
crinkling floor of blue, and to their left, as they faced it, 
was a lovely outward-curving shore of tawny sand. Study- 
ing Berenice in blue-silk bathing costume and shoes, Cow- 
perwood had been stung by the wonder of passing life 
now youth comes in, ever fresh and fresh, and age goes out. 
Here he was, long crowded years of conflict and r experi- 
ence behind him, and yet this twenty-year-old girl, with 
her incisive mind and keen tastes, was apparently as wise 
in matters of general import as himself. He could find no 
flaw in her armor in those matters which they could dis- 
cuss. Her knowledge and comments were so ripe and sane, 
despite a tendency to pose a little, which was quite within 
her rights. Because Greanelle had bored her a little 
she had shunted him off and was amusing herself talking 
to Cowperwood, who fascinated her by his compact in- 

"Do you know," she confided to him, on this occasion, 
"I get so very tired of young men sometimes. They can 
be so inane. I do declare, they are nothing more than 
shoes and ties and socks and canes strung together in some 
unimaginable way. Vaughn Greanelle is for all the world 
like a perambulating manikin to-day. He is just an Eng- 
lish suit with a cane attached walking about." 

"Well, bless my soul," commented Cowperwood, "what 
an indictment!" 

"It's true," she replied. "He knows nothing at all ex- 
cept polo, and the latest swimming-stroke, and where every- 
body is, and who is going to marry who. Isn't it dull?" 

She tossed her head back and breathed as though to 
exhale the fumes of the dull and the inane from her inmost 

"Did you tell him that?" inquired Cowperwood, curi- 

" Certainly I did." 

"I don't wonder he looks so solemn," he said, turning 
and looking back at Greanelle and Mrs. Carter; they were 
sitting side by side in sand-chairs, the former beating the 
sand with his toes. "You're a curious girl, Berenice," he 
went on, familiarly. "You are so direct and vital at times." 

"Not any more than you are, from all I can hear," she 



replied, fixing him with those steady eyes. "Anyhow, 
why should I be bored ? He is so dull. He follows me 
around out here all the time, and I don't want him." 

She tossed her head and began to run up the beach to 
where bathers were fewer and fewer, looking back at 
Cowperwood as if to say, "Why don't you follow?" He 
developed a burst of enthusiasm and ran quite briskly, 
overtaking her near some shallows where, because of a sand- 
bar offshore, the waters were thin and bright. 

"Oh, look!" exclaimed Berenice, when he came up. 
"See, the fish! O-oh!" 

She dashed in to where a few feet offshore a small school 
of minnows as large as sardines were playing, silvery in the 
sun. She ran as she had for the bird, doing her best to 
frighten them into a neighboring pocket or pool farther up 
on the shore. Cowperwood, as gay as a boy of ten, joined 
in the chase. He raced after them briskly, losing one 
school, but pocketing another a little farther on and call- 
ing to her to come. 

"Oh!" exclaimed Berenice at one point. "Here they are 
now. Come quick! Drive them in here!" 

Her hair was blowy, her face a keen pink, her eyes an 
electric blue by contrast. She was bending low over the 
water Cowperwood also their hands outstretched, the 
fish, some five in all, nervously dancing before them in their 
efforts to escape. All at once, having forced them into a 
corner, they dived ; Berenice actually caught one. Cowper- 
wood missed by a fraction, but drove the fish she did catch 
into her hands. 

"Oh," she exclaimed, jumping up, "how wonderful! 
It's alive. I caught it." 

She danced up and down, and Cowperwood, standing 
before her, was sobered by her charm. He felt an impulse 
to speak to her of his affection, to tell her how delicious she 
was to him. 

"You," he said, pausing over the word and giving it 
special emphasis "you are the only thing here that is 
wonderful to me." 

She looked at him a moment, the live fish in her extended 
hands, her eyes keying to the situation. For the least 
fraction of a moment she was uncertain, as he could see, 


how to take this. Many men had been approximative be- 
fore. It was common to have compliments paid to her. 
But this was different. She said nothing, but fixed him 
with a look which said quite plainly, "You had better not 
say anything more just now, I think." Then, seeing that 
he understood, that his manner softened, and that he was 
troubled, she crinkled her nose gaily and added: "It's like 
fairyland. I feel as though I had caught it out of another 
world." Cowperwood understood. The direct approach 
was not for use in her case; and yet there was something, 
a camaraderie, a sympathy which he felt and which she felt. 
A girls' school, conventions, the need of socially placing her- 
self, her conservative friends, and their viewpoint all were 
working here. If he were only single now, she told herself, 
she would be willing to listen to him in a very different 
spirit, for he was charming. But this way And he, for 
his part, concluded that here was one woman whom he would 
gladly marry if she would have him. 



FOLLOWING Cowperwood's coup in securing cash by 
means of his seeming gift of three hundred thousand 
dollars for a telescope his enemies rested for a time, but 
only because of a lack of ideas wherewith to destroy him. 
Public sentiment created by the newspapers was still 
against him. Yet his franchises had still from eight to 
ten years to run, and meanwhile he might make himself 
unassailably powerful. For the present he was busy, 
surrounded by his engineers and managers and legal 
advisers, constructing his several elevated lines at a whirl- 
wind rate. At the same time, through Videra, Kaffrath, 
and Addison, he was effecting a scheme of loaning money 
on call to the local Chicago banks the very banks which 
were most opposed to him so that in a crisis he could 
retaliate. By manipulating the vast quantity of stocks 
and bonds of which he was now the master he was making 
money hand over fist, his one rule being that six per cent, 
was enough to pay any holder who had merely purchased 
his stock as an outsider. It was most profitable to him- 
self. When his stocks earned more than that he issued 
new ones, selling them on 'change and pocketing the 
difference. Out of the cash-drawers of his various com- 
panies he took immense sums, temporary loans, as it were, 
which later he had charged by his humble servitors to 
"construction," "equipment," or "operation." He was 
like a canny wolf prowling in a forest of trees of his own 

The weak note in this whole project of elevated lines was 
that for some time it was destined to be unprofitable. 
Its very competition tended to weaken the value of his 
surface-line companies. His holdings in these as well as 



in elevated-road shares were immense. If anything hap- 
pened to cause them to fall in price immense numbers of 
these same stocks held by others would be thrown on the 
market, thus still further depreciating their value and com- 
pelling him to come into the market and buy. With the 
most painstaking care he began at once to pile up a reserve 
in government bonds for emergency purposes, which he 
decided should be not less than eight or nine million dollars, 
for he feared financial storms as well as financial reprisal, 
and where so much was at stake he did not propose to be 
caught napping. 

At the time that Cowperwood first entered on elevated- 
road construction there was no evidence that any severe 
depression in the American money-market was imminent. 
But it was not long before a new difficulty began to appear. 
It was now the day of the trust in all its watery magnifi- 
cence. Coal, iron, steel, oil, machinery, and a score of 
other commercial necessities had already been "trusti- 
fied," and others, such as leather, shoes, cordage, and the 
like, were, almost hourly, being brought under the control 
of shrewd and ruthless men. Already in Chicago Schryhart, 
Hand, Arneel, Merrill, and a score of others were seeing 
their way to amazing profits by underwriting these ven- 
tures which required ready cash, and to which lesser mag- 
nates, content with a portion of the leavings of Dives's 
table, were glad to bring to their attention. On the other 
hand, in the nation at large there was growing up a feeling 
that at the top there were a set of giants Titans who, 
without heart or soul, and without any understanding of 
or sympathy with the condition of the rank and file, were 
setting forth to enchain and enslave them. The vast mass, 
writhing in ignorance and poverty, finally turned with 
pathetic fury to the cure-all of a political leader in the West. 
This latter prophet, seeing gold becoming scarcer and 
scarcer and the cash and credits of the land falling into the 
hands of a few who were manipulating them for their own 
benefit, had decided that what was needed was a greater 
volume of currency, so that credits would be easier and 
money cheaper to come by in the matter of interest. Silver, 
of which there was a superabundance in the mines, was 
to be coined at the ratio of sixteen dollars of silver for every 



one of gold in circulation, and the parity of the two metals 
maintained by fiat of government. Never again should 
the few be able to make a weapon of the people's medium 
of exchange in order to bring about their undoing. There 
was to be ample money, far beyond the control of central 
banks and the men in power over them. It was a splendid 
dream worthy of a charitable heart, but because of it a 
disturbing war for political control of the government 
was shortly threatened and soon began. The money 
element, sensing the danger of change involved in the 
theories of the new political leader, began to fight him and 
the element in the Democratic party which he represented. 
The rank and file of both parties the more or less hungry 
and thirsty who lie ever at the bottom on both sides 
hailed him as a heaven-sent deliverer, a new Moses come 
to lead them out of the wilderness of poverty and distress. 
Woe to the political leader who preaches a new doctrine 
of deliverance, and who, out of tenderness of heart, offers 
a panacea for human ills. His truly shall be a crown of 

Cowperwood, no less than other men of wealth, was op- 
posed to what he deemed a crack-brained idea that of 
maintaining a parity between gold and silver by law. Con- 
fiscation was his word for it the confiscation of the wealth 
of the few for the benefit of the many. Most of all was he 
opposed to it because he feared that this unrest, which was 
obviously growing, foreshadowed a class war in which in- 
vestors would run to cover and money be locked in strong- 
boxes. At once he began to shorten sail, to invest only in 
the soundest securities, and to convert all his weaker ones 
into cash. 

To meet current emergencies, however, he was compelled 
to borrow heavily here and there, and in doing so he was 
quick to note that those banks representing his enemies in 
Chicago and elsewhere were willing to accept his various 
stocks as collateral, providing he would accept loans sub- 
ject to call. He did_so gladly, at the same time suspecting 
Hand, Schryhart, Arneel, and Merrill of some scheme to 
wreck him, providing they could get him where the calling 
of his loans suddenly and in concert would financially em- 
barrass him. "I think I know what that crew are up to," 



he once observed to Addison, at this period. "Well, they 
will have to rise very early in the morning if they catch me 

The thing that he suspected was really true. Schryhart, 
Hand, and Arneel, watching him through their agents and 
brokers, had soon discovered in the very earliest phases 
of the silver agitation and before the real storm broke 
that he was borrowing in New York, in London, in certain 
quarters of Chicago, and elsewhere. "It looks to me," 
said Schryhart, one day, to his friend Arneel, "as if our 
friend has gotten in a little too deep. He has overreached 
himself. These elevated-road schemes of his have eaten 
up too much capital. There is another election coming on 
next fall, and he knows we are going to fight tooth and nail. 
He needs money to electrify his surface lines. If we could 
trace out exactly where he stands, and where he has bor- 
rowed, we might know what to do." 

"Unless I am greatly mistaken," replied Arneel, "he is in 
a tight place or is rapidly getting there. This silver agita- 
tion is beginning to weaken stocks and tighten money. 
I suggest that our banks here loan him all the money he 
wants on call. When the time comes, if he isn't ready, we 
can shut him up tighter than a drum. If we can pick up 
any other loans he's made anywhere else, well and good. ' 

Mr. Arneel said this without a shadow of bitterness or 
humor. In some tight hour, perhaps, now fast approach- 
ing, Mr. Cowperwood would be promised salvation 
"saved" on condition that he should leave Chicago forever. 
There were those who would take over his property in the 
interest of the city and upright government and administer 
it accordingly. 

Unfortunately, at this very time Messrs. Hand, Schry- 
hart, and Arneel were themselves concerned in a little 
venture to which the threatened silver agitation could bode 
nothing but ill. This concerned so simple a thing as 
matches, a commodity which at this time, along with many 
others, had been trustified and was yielding a fine profit. 
"American Match" was a stock which was already listed 
on every exchange and which was selling steadily around 
one hundred and twenty. 



The geniuses who had first planned a combination of all 
match concerns and a monopoly of the trade in America 
were two men, Messrs. Hull and Stackpole bankers and 
brokers, primarily. Mr. Phineas Hull was a small, ferret- 
like, calculating man with a sparse growth of dusty-brown 
hair and an eyelid, the right one, which was partially par- 
alyzed and drooped heavily, giving him a characterful and 
yet at times a sinister expression. 

His partner, Mr. Benoni Stackpole, had been once a 
stage-driver in Arkansas, and later a horse-trader. He was 
a man of great force and calculation large, oleaginous, 
politic, and courageous. Without the ultimate brain ca- 
pacity of such men as Arneel, Hand, and Merrill, he was, 
nevertheless, resourceful and able. He had started some- 
what late in the race for wealth, but now, with all his 
strength, he was endeavoring to bring to fruition this plan 
which, with the aid of Hull, he had formulated. Inspired 
by the thought of great wealth, they had first secured con- 
trol of the stock ofone match company, and had then put 
themselves in a position to bargain with the owners of 
others. The patents and processes controlled by one com- 
pany and another had been combined, and the field had 
been broadened as much as possible. 

But to do all this a great deal of money had been re- 
quired, much more than was in possession of either Hull 
or Stackpole. Both of them being Western men, they 
looked first to Western capital. Hand, Schryhart, Arneel, 
and Merrill were in turn appealed to, and great blocks of 
the new stock were sold to them at inside figures. By the 
means thus afforded the combination proceeded apace. 
Patents for exclusive processes were taken over from all 
sides, and the idea of invading Europe and eventually con- 
trolling the market of the world had its inception. At the 
same time it occurred to each and all of their lordly patrons 
that it would be a splendid thing if the stock they had pur- 
chased at forty-five, and which was now selling in open mar- 
ket at one hundred and twenty, should go to three hun- 
dred, where, if these monopolistic dreams were true, it 
properly belonged. A little more of this stock the des- 
tiny of which at this time seemed sure and splendid would 
not be amiss. And so there began a quiet campaign on the 



part of each capitalist to gather enough of it to realize a 
true fortune on the rise. 

A game of this kind is never played with the remainder 
of the financial community entirely unaware of what is on 
foot. In the inner circles of brokerage life rumors were 
soon abroad that a tremendous boom was in store for 
American Match. Cowperwood heard of it through Ad- 
dison, always at the center of financial rumor, and the 
two of them bought heavily, though not so heavily but 
that they could clear out at any time with at least a slight 
margin in their favor. During a period of eight months 
the stock slowly moved upward, finally crossing the two- 
hundred mark and reaching two-twenty, at which figure 
both Addison and Cowperwood sold, realizing nearly a 
million between them on their investment. 

In the mean time the foreshadowed political storm was 
brewing. At first a cloud no larger than a man's hand, 
it matured swiftly in the late months of 1895, a d by the 
spring of 1896 it had become portentous and was ready 
to burst. With the climacteric nomination of the "Apostle 
of Free Silver" for President of the United States, which 
followed in July, a chill settled down over the conservative 
and financial elements of the country. What Cowperwood 
had wisely proceeded to do months before, others less far- 
seeing, from Maine to California and from the Gulf to 
Canada, began to do now. Bank-deposits were in part with- 
drawn; feeble or uncertain securities were thrown upon 
the market. All at once Schryhart, Arneel, Hand, and 
Merrill realized that they were in more or less of a trap 
in regard to their large holdings in American Match. 
Having gathered vast quantities of this stock, which had 
been issued in blocks of millions, it was now necessary to 
sustain the market or sell at a loss. Since money was 
needed by many holders, and this stock was selling at two- 
twenty, telegraphic orders began to pour in from all parts 
of the country to sell on the Chicago Exchange, where the 
deal was being engineered and where the market obviously 
existed. All of the instigators of the deal conferred, and 
decided to sustain the market. Messrs. Hull and Stack- 
pole, being the nominal heads of the trust, were delegated 
to buy, they in turn calling on the principal investors to 



take their share, pro rata. Hand, Schryhart, Arneel, and 
Merrill, weighted with this Jnpouring flood of stock, which 
they had to take at two-twenty, hurried to their favorite 
banks, hypothecating vast quantities at one-fifty and over, 
and using the money so obtained to take care of the ad- 
ditional shares which they were compelled to buy. 

At last, however, their favorite banks were full to over- 
flowing and at the danger - point. They could take no 

"No, no, no!" Hand declared to Phineas Hull over the 
'phone. "I can't risk another dollar in this venture, and 
I won't! It's a perfect proposition. I realize all its merits 
just as well as you do. But enough is enough. I tell you 
a financial slump is coming. That's the reason all this 
stock is coming out now. I am willing to protect my in- 
terests in this thing up to a certain point. As I told you, 
I agree not to throw a single share on the market of all 
that I now have. But more than that I cannot do. The 
other gentlemen in this agreement will have to protect 
themselves as best they can. I have other things to look 
out for that are just as important to me, and more so, than 
American Match." 

It was the same with Mr. Schryhart, who, stroking a crisp, 
black mustache, was wondering whether he had not better 
throw over what holdings he had and clear out; however, 
he feared the rage of Hand and Arneel for breaking the 
market and thus bringing on a local panic. It was risky 
business. Arneel and Merrill finally agreed to hold firm 
to what they had; but, as they told Mr. Hull, nothing 
could induce them to "protect" another share, come what 

In this crisis naturally Messrs. Hull and Stackpole 
estimable gentlemen both were greatly depressed. By 
no means so wealthy as their lofty patrons, their private 
fortunes were in much greater jeopardy. They were eager 
to make any port in so black a storm. Witness, then, the 
arrival of Benoni Stackpole at the ofHce of Frank Algernon 
Cowperwood. He was at the end of his tether, and Cow- 
perwood was the only really rich man in the city not yet 
involved in this speculation. In the beginning he had 
heard both Hand and Schryhart say that they did not 



care to become involved if Cowperwood was in any way, 
shape, or manner to be included, but that had been over 
a year ago, and Schryhart and Hand were now, as it were, 
leaving both him and his partner to their fates. They could 
have no objection to his dealing with Cowperwood in this 
crisis if he could make sure that the magnate would not sell 
him out. Mr. Stackpole was six feet one in his socks and 
weighed two hundred and thirty pounds. Clad in a brown 
linen suit and straw hat (for it was late July), he carried 
a palm-leaf fan as well as his troublesome stocks in a small 
yellow leather bag. He was wet with perspiration and in 
a gloomy state of mind. Failure was staring him in the 
face giant failure. If American Match fell below two 
hundred he would have to close his doors as banker and 
broker and, in view of what he was carrying, he and Hull 
would fail for approximately twenty million dollars. 
Messrs. Hand, Schryhart, Arneel, and Merrill would lose 
in the neighborhood of six or eight millions between them. 
The local banks would suffer in proportion, though not 
nearly so severely, for, loaning at one-nfty, they would only 
sacrifice the difference between that and the lowest point 
to which the stock might fall. 

Cowperwood eyed the new-comer, when he entered, with 
an equivocal eye, for he knew well now what was coming. 
Only a few days before hejiad predicted an eventual smash 
to Addison. 

"Mr. Cowperwood," began Stackpole, "in this bag I 
have fifteen thousand shares of American Match, par value 
one million five hundred thousand dollars, market value 
three million three hundred thousand at this moment, 
and worth every cent of three hundred dollars a share 
and more. I don't know how closely you have been 
following the developments of American Match. We 
own all the patents on labor-saving machines and, what's 
more, we're just about to close contracts with Italy 
and France to lease our machines and processes to 
them for pretty nearly one million dollars a year each. 
We're dickering with Austria and England, and of course 
we'll take up other countries later. The American 
Match Company will yet make matches for the whole 
world, whether I'm connected with it or not. This sil- 



vcr agitation has caught us ri^ht in mid-ocean, and we're 
MR a little trouble weathering m I'm a 

perfectly frank man ulun it comes to close business rela- 
tions of this kind, and I'm going to tell you just how 
things stand. If we can scull over this rough place 
has come up on account of the silver agitation our stock 
will go to three hundred before the first of the year. Now, 
if you want to take it you can have it outright at one 
hundred and fifty dollars that is, providing you'll agree 
not to throw any of it back on the market before m\t 
December; or, if you won't promise that" (he p;i 
to see if by any chance he could read Cowperwood's in- 
scrutable face) I want you to loan me one hundred and 
fifty dollars a share on these for thirty days at least at t. n 
or fifteen, or whatever rate you care to t 

Cowpcrwood interlocked his fingers and twiddled 
thumbs as he contemplated this latest evidence of earthly 
difficulty and uncertainty. Time and chance certainly 
happened to all men, and here was one opportunity of 
iR out those who had been nagging him. To take 
this stock at one-fifty on loan and peddle it out swiftly and 
fully at two-twenty or less would bring American Match 
i rumbling about their ears. When it was selling at one- 
>r less he could buy it back, pocket his profit, com pit T< 
.il with Mr. Stacfcpole, pocket his interest, and smile 
like the well-fed cat in the fable. It was as simple as 
twiddling his thumbs, which he was now doing. 

"Who has been backing this stock here in Chicago besides 
yourself and Mr. Hull r he asked, pleasantly. 'I think 
that I already know, but I should like to be certain if you 
have no objecti- 

'None in the least, none in the least," replied Mr. 
Stackpole, accommodatingly. "Mr. Hand, Mr. bchryhart, 
Mr. Arneel, and Mr. Merrill." 

"That is what I thought," commented Cowpcrwood, 
easily. "They can't take this up for you? Is that it? 
Saturated r 

14 Saturated," agreed Mr. Stackpole, dully. " Hut there's 
one thing I'd have to stipulate in accepting a loan on these. 
Not a share must be thrown on the market, or, at 1< MtHOt 
before I have failed to respond to your call. I have under- 



stood that there is a little feeling between you and Mr. 
Hand and the other gentlemen I have mentioned. But, 
as I say and I'm talking perfectly frankly now I'm in a 
corner, and it's any port in a storm. If you want to help 
me I'll make the best terms I can, and I won't forget the 

He opened the bag and began to take out the securities 

ng greenish-yellow bundles, tightly gripped in the center 
iuk elastic bands. They were in bundles of one 
thousand shares each. Since Stackpole half proffered them 
to him, Cowperwood took them in one hand and lightly 
weighed them up and down. 

"I'm sorry, Mr. Stackpole," he said, sympathetically, 

a moment of apparent reflection, 'but I c.r 
possibly help you in this matter. I'm too involved in other 
:s myself, and I do not often indulge in stock-specula- 
of any kind. I have no particular malice toward any 
one of the gentlemen you mention. I do not trouble to dis- 
like all who dislike me. I might, of course, if I chose, take 
these stocks and pay them out and throw them on the 
m.uket to-morrow, but I have no desire to do any t hi: 
the sort. I only wish I could help you, and if I thou. 
could carry them safely for three or four months I would. 
As it i He lifted his eyebrows sympathetically. 
"Have you tried all the bankers in tov 

"Practically every one." 

"And they can't help you?" 
They are carrying all they can stand now." 

M Too bad. I'm sorry, very. By the way, dp you 
happen, by any chance, to know Mr. Millard Bailey or 
Mr. Edwin KaH 

"No, I don't.* replied Stackpole* hopefully. 

"Well, now, there are two men who are much richer than 
is generally supposed. They often have very large sums 
at their disposal. You might look them up on a chance. 
1 ht n there s my friend Videra. I don't know how he is 
fixed at present. You can always find him at the Twelfth 
Ward Bank. He might h< nu lined to take a good portion 
of that I don't know. He's much better ott th.m most 
people seem to think. I wonder you haven't been directed 
to some one of these men before." (As a matter of fact, 



no one of the individuals in question would have been 
interested to take a dollar of this loan except on Cowper- 
wood's order, but Stackpole had no reason for knowing 
this. They were not prominently identified with the 

"Thank you very much. I will," observed Stackpole, 
restoring his undesired stocks to his bag. 

Cowperwood, with an admirable show of courtesy, 
called a stenographer, and pretended to secure for his guest 
the home addresses of these gentlemen. He then bade 
Mr. Stackpole an encouraging farewell. The distrait pro- 
moter at once decided to try not only Bailey and KafFrath, 
but Videra; but even as he drove toward the office of the 
first-mentioned Cowperwood was personally busy reaching 
him by telephone. 

"I say, Bailey," he called, when he had secured the 
wealthy lumberman on the wire, "Benoni Stackpole, of 
Hull & Stackpole, was here to see me just now." 


"He has with him fifteen thousand shares of American 
Match par value one hundred, market value to-day 


"He is trying to hypothecate the lot or any part of it at 


"You know what the trouble with American Match is, 
don't you ?" 

"No. I only know it's being driven up to where it is now 
by a bull campaign." 

"Well, listen to me. It's going to break. American 
Match is going to bust." 


" But I want you to loan this man five hundred thousand 
dollars at one-twenty or less and then recommend that he 
go to Edwin KafFrath or Anton Videra for the balance." 

"But, Frank, I haven't any five hundred thousand to 
spare. You say American Match is going to bust." 

"I know you haven't, but draw the check on the Chicago 
Trust, and Addison will honor it. Send the stock to me and 
forget all about it. I will do the rest. But under no cir- 


cumstances mention my name, and don't appear too eager. 
Not more than one-twenty at the outside, do you hear? and 
less if you can get it. You recognize my voice, do you ?" 


" Drive over afterward if you have time and let me know 
what happens." 

"Very good," commented Mr. Bailey, in a businesslike 

Cowperwood next called for Mr. Kaffrath. Conversing 
to similar effect with that individual and with Videra, 
before three-quarters of an hour Cowperwood had arranged 
completely for Mr. Stackpole's tour. He was to have his 
total loan at one-twenty or less. Checks were to be forth- 
coming at once. Different banks were to be drawn on 
banks other than the Chicago Trust Company. Cowper- 
wood would see, in some roundabout way, tnat these checks 
were promptly honored, whether the cash was there or not. 
In each case the hypothecated stocks were to be sent to 
him. Then, having seen to the perfecting of this little 
programme, and that the banks to be drawn upon in this 
connection understood perfectly that the checks in ques- 
tion were guaranteed by him or others, he sat down to 
await the arrival of his henchmen and the turning of the 
stock into his private safe. 



ON August 4, 1896, the city of Chicago, and for that 
matter the entire financial world, was startled and 
amazed by the collapse of American Match, one of the 
strongest of market securities, and the coincident failure 
of Messrs. Hull and Stackpole, its ostensible promoters, for 
twenty millions. As early as eleven o'clock of the preced- 
ing day the banking and brokerage world of Chicago, trad- 
ing in this stock, was fully aware that something untoward 
was on foot in connection with it. Owing to the high price 
at which the stock was " protected," and the need of money 
to liquidate, blocks of this stock from all parts of the 
country were being rushed to the market with the hope of 
realizing before the ultimate break. About the stock-ex- 
change, which frowned like a gray fortress at the foot of 
La Salle Street, all was excitement as though a giant ant- 
hill had been ruthlessly disturbed. Clerks and messengers 
hurried to and fro in confused and apparently aimless di- 
rections. Brokers whose supply of American Match had 
been apparently exhausted on the previous day now ap- 
peared on 'change bright and early, and at the clang of the 
gong began to offer the stock in sizable lots of from two 
hundred to five hundred shares. The agents of Hull & 
Stackpole were in the market, of course, in the front rank 
of the scrambling, yelling throng, taking up whatever stock 
appeared at the price they were hoping to maintain. The 
two promoters were in touch by 'phone and wire not only 
with those various important personages whom they had 
induced to enter upon this bull campaign, but with their 
various clerks and agents on 'change. Naturally, under 
the circumstances both were in a gloomy frame of mind. 
This game was no longer moving in those large, easy sweeps 



which characterize the more favorable aspects of high 
finance. Sad to relate, as in all the troubled flumes of life 
where vast currents are compressed in narrow, tortuous 
spaces, these two men were now concerned chiefly with the 
momentary care of small but none the less heartbreaking 
burdens. Where to find fifty thousand to take care of 
this or that burden of stock which was momentarily falling 
upon them? They were as two men called upon, with their 
limited hands and strength, to seal up the ever-increasing 
crevices of a dike beyond which raged a mountainous and 
destructive sea. 

At eleven o'clock Mr. Phineas Hull rose from the chair 
which sat before his solid mahogany desk, and confronted 
his partner. 

"I'll tell you, Ben," he said, "I'm afraid we can't make 
this. We've hypothecated so much of this stock around 
town that we can't possibly tell who's doing what. I know 
as well as I'm standing on this floor that some one, I can't 
say which one, is selling us out. You don't suppose it 
could be Cowperwood or any of those people he sent to 
us, do you?" 

Stackpole, worn by his experiences of the past few weeks, 
was inclined to be irritable. 

"How should I know, Phineas?" he inquired, scowling 
in troubled thought. "I don't think so. I didn't notice 
any signs that they were interested in stock - gambling. 
Anyhow, we had to have the money in some form. Any 
one of the whole crowd is apt to get frightened now at any 
moment and throw the whole thing over. We're in a tight 
place, that's plain." 

For the fortieth time he plucked at a too-tight collar and 
pulled up his shirt-sleeves, for it was stifling, and he was 
coatless and waistcoatless. Just then Mr. Hull's telephone 
bell rang the one connecting with the firm's private office 
on 'change, and the latter jumped to seize the receiver. 

"Yes?" he inquired, irritably. 

"Two thousand shares of American offered at two- 
twenty! Shall I take them?" 

The man who was 'phoning was in sight of another man 
who stood at the railing of the brokers' gallery overlooking 
"the pit," or central room of the stock-exchange, and who 



instantly transferred any sign he might receive to the man 
on the floor. So Mr. Hull's "yea" or "nay" would be 
almost instantly transmuted into a cash transaction on 

"What do you think of that?" asked Hull of Stackpole, 
putting his hand over the receiver's mouth, his right eyelid 
drooping heavier than ever. "Two thousand more to take 
up! Where d'you suppose they are coming from? Teh!" 

"Well, the bottom's out, that's all," replied Stackpole, 
heavily and gutturally. "We can't do what we can't do. 
I say this, though: support it at two-twenty until three 
o'clock. Then we'll figure up where we stand and what 
we owe. And meanwhile I'll see what I can do. If the 
banks won't help us and Arneel and that crowd want to 
get from under, we'll fail, that's all; but not before I've 
had one more try, by Jericho I They may not help us, 

Actually Mr. Stackpole did not see what was to be done 
unless Messrs. Hand, Schryhart, Merrill, and Arneel were 
willing to risk much more money, but it grieved and 
angered him to think he and Hull should be thus left to 
sink without a sigh. He had tried KafFrath, Videra, and 
Bailey, but they were adamant. Thus cogitating, Stack- 
pole put on his wide-brimmed straw hat and went out. 
It was nearly ninety-six in the shade. The granite and 
asphalt pavements of the down-town district reflected a 
dry, Turkish-bath-room heat. There was no air to speak 
of. The sky was a burning, milky blue, with the sun gleam- 
ine feverishly upon the upper walls of the tall buildings. 

Mr. Hand, in his seventh-story suite of offices in the 
Rookery Building, was suffering from the heat, but much 
more from mental perturbation. Though not a stingy or 
penurious man, it was still true that of all earthly things he 
suffered most from a financial loss. How often had he seen 
chance or miscalculation sweep apparently strong and 
valiant men into the limbo of the useless and forgotten! 
Since the alienation of his wife's affections by Cowperwood, 
he had scarcely any interest in the world outside his large 
financial holdings, which included profitable investments 
in a half-hundred companies. But they must pay, pay, 
pay heavily in interest all of them and the thought that 



one of them might become a failure or a drain on his re- 
sources was enough to give him an almost physical sensa- 
tion of dissatisfaction and unrest, a sort of spiritual and 
mental nausea which would cling to him for days and days 
or until he had surmounted the difficulty. Mr. Hand had 
no least corner in his heart for failure. 

As a matter of fact, the situation in regard to American 
Match had reached such proportions as to be almost 
numbing. Aside from the fifteen thousand shares which 
Messrs. Hull and Stackpole had originally set aside for 
themselves, Hand, Arneel, Schryhart, and Merrill had 
purchased five thousand shares each at forty, but had 
since been compelled to sustain the market to the extent of 
over five thousand shares more each, at prices ranging from 
one-twenty to two-twenty, the largest blocks of shares 
having been bought at the latter figure. Actually Hand 
was caught for nearly one million five hundred thousand 
dollars, and his soul was as gray as a bat's wing. At fifty- 
seven years of age men who are used only to the most 
successful financial calculations and the credit that goes 
with unerring judgment dread to be made a mark by 
chance or fate. It opens the way for comment on their 
possibly failing vitality or judgment. And so Mr. Hand 
sat on this hot August afternoon, ensconced in a large 
carved mahogany chair in the inner recesses of his inner 
offices, and brooded. Only this morning, in the face of a 
falling market, he would have sold out openly had he not 
been deterred by telephone : messages from Arneel and Schry- 
hart suggesting the advisability of a pool conference be- 
fore any action was taken. Come what might on the mor- 
row, he was determined to quit unless he saw some clear 
way out to be shut of the whole thing unless the in- 
genuity of Stackpole and Hull should discover a way of 
sustaining the market without his aid. While he was 
meditating on how this was to be done Mr. Stackpole ap- 
peared, pale, gloomy, wet with perspiration. 

"Well, Mr. Hand," he exclaimed, wearily, "I've done 
all I can. Hull and I have kept the market fairly stable 
so far. You saw what happened between ten and eleven 
this morning. The jig's up. We've borrowed our last 
dollar and hypothecated our last share. My personal 



fortune has gone into the balance, and so has Hull's. Some 
one of the outside stockholders, or all of them, are cutting 
the ground from under us. Fourteen thousand shares since 
ten o'clock this morning! That tells the story. It can't be 
done just now not unless you gentlemen are prepared to go 
much further than you have yet gone. If we could organize 
a pool to take care of fifteen thousand more shares 

Mr. Stackpole paused, for Mr. Hand was holding up a 
fat, pink digit. 

"No more of that," he was saying, solemnly. "It can't 
be done. I, for one, won't sink another dollar in this 
proposition at this time. I'd rather throw what I have 
on the market and take what I can get. I am sure the others 
feel the same way." 

Mr. Hand, to play safe, had hypothecated nearly all his 
shares with various banks in order to release his money 
for other purposes, and he knew he would not dare to throw 
over all his holdings, just as he knew he would have to make 
good at the figure at which they had been margined. But 
it was a fine threat to make. 

Mr. Stackpole stared ox-like at Mr. Hand. 

"Very well," he said, "I might as well go back, then, 
and post a notice on our front door. We bought fourteen 
thousand shares and held the market where it is, but we 
haven't a dollar to pay for them with. Unless the banks 
or some one will take them over for us we're gone we're 

Mr. Hand, who knew that if Mr. Stackpole carried out 
this decision it meant the loss of his one million five hundred 
thousand, halted mentally. "Have you been to all the 
banks?" he asked. "What does Lawrence, of the Prairie 
National, have to say?" 

"It's the same with all of them," replied Stackpole, now 
quite desperate, "as it is with you. They have all they 
can carry every one. It's this damned silver agitation 
that's it, and nothing else. There's nothing the matter 
with this stock. It will right itself in a few months. It's 
sure to." 

"Will it?" commented Mr. Hand, sourly. "That de- 
pends on what happens next November." (He was re- 
ferring to the coming national election.) 



"Yes, I know," sighed Mr. Stackpole, seeing that it was 
a condition, and not a theory, that confronted him. Then, 
suddenly clenching his right hand, he exclaimed, " Damn 
that upstart!'* (He was thinking of the "Apostle of Free 
Silver.") "He's the cause of all this. Well, if there's 
nothing to be done I might as well be going. There's all 
those shares we bought to-day which we ought to be able 
to hypothecate with somebody. It would be something if 
we could get even a hundred and twenty on them." 

"Very true," replied Hand. "I wish it could be done. 
I, personally, cannot sink any more money. But why 
don't you go and see Schryhart and Arneel? I've been 
talking to them, and they seem to be in a position similar 
to my own; but if they are willing to confer, I am. I don't 
see what's to be done, but it may be that all of us together 
might arrange some way of heading off the slaughter of 
the stock to-morrow. I don't know. If only we don't 
have to suffer too great a decline." 

Mr. Hand was thinking that Messrs. Hull and Stackpole 
might be forced to part with all their remaining holdings at 
fifty cents on the dollar or less. Then if it could possibly 
be taken and carried by the united banks for them (Schry- 
hart, himself, Arneel) and sold at a profit later, he and his 
associates might recoup some of their losses. The local 
banks at the behest of the big quadrumvirate might be 
coerced into straining their resources still further. But 
how was this to be done? How, indeed? 

It was Schryhart who, in pumping and digging at Stack- 
pole when he finally arrived there, managed to extract from 
him the truth in regard to his visit to Cowperwood. As a 
matter of fact, Schryhart himself had been guilty this very 
day of having thrown two thousand shares of American 
Match on the market unknown to his confreres. Naturally, 
he was eager to learn whether Stackpole or any one else had 
the least suspicion that he was involved. As a consequence 
he questioned Stackpole closely, and the latter, being 
anxious as to the outcome of his own interests, was not un- 
willing to make a clean breast. He had the justification in 
his own mind that the quadrumvirate had been ready to 
desert him anyhow. 



"Why did you go to him?" exclaimed Schryhart, pro- 
fessing to be greatly astonished and annoyed, as, indeed, 
in one sense he was. "I thought we had a distinct under- 
standing in the beginning that under no circumstances 
was he to be included in any portion of this. You might 
as well go to the devil himself for assistance as go there." 
At the same time he was thinking " How fortunate !" Here 
was not only a loophole for himself in connection with his 
own subtle side -plays, but also, if the quadrumvirate 
desired, an excuse for deserting the troublesome fortunes 
of Hull & Stackpole. 

"Well, the truth is," replied Stackpole, somewhat 
sheepishly and yet defiantly, "last Thursday I had fifteen 
thousand shares on which I had to raise money. Neither 
you nor any of the others wanted any more. The banks 
wouldn't take them. I called up Rambaud on a chance, and 
he suggested Cowperwood." 

As has been related, Stackpole had really gone to Cowper- 
wood direct, but a lie under the circumstances seemed 
rather essential. 

"Rambaud!" sneered Schryhart. "Cowperwood's man 
he and all the others. You couldn't have gone to a 
worse crowd if you had tried. So that's where this stock 
is coming from, beyond a doubt. That fellow or his 
friends are selling us out. You might have known he'd do 
it. He hates us. So you're through, are you? not 
another single trick to turn ?" 

"Not one," replied Stackpole, solemnly. 

"Well, that's too bad. You have acted most unwisely 
in going to Cowperwood; but we shall have to see what 
can be done." 

Schryhart's idea, like that of Hand, was to cause Hull & 
Stackpole to relinquish all their holdings for nothing to 
the banks in order that, under pressure, the latter might 
carry the stocks he and the others had hypothecated with 
them until such a time as the company might be organized 
at a profit. At the same time he was intensely resentful 
against Cowperwood for having by any fluke of circum- 
stance reaped so large a profit as he must have done. 
Plainly, the present crisis had something to do with him. 
Schryhart was quick to call up Hand and Arneel, after 


Stackpole had gone, suggesting a conference, and together, 
an hour later, at Arneel' s office, they foregathered along 
with Merrill to discuss this new and very interesting de- 
velopment. As a matter of fact, during the course of the 
afternoon all of these gentlemen had been growing more and 
more uneasy. Not that between them they were not 
eminently capable of taking care of their own losses, but 
the sympathetic effect of such a failure as this (twenty 
million dollars), to say nothing of its reaction upon the 
honor of themselves and the city as a financial center, was 
a most unsatisfactory if not disastrous thing to contemplate, 
and now this matter of Cowperwood's having gained hand- 
somely by it all was added to their misery. Both Hand and 
Arneel growled in opposition when they heard, and Merrill 
meditated, as he usually did, on the wonder of Cowper- 
wood's subtlety. He could not help liking him. 

There is a sort of municipal pride latent in the bosoms 
of most members of a really thriving community which 
often comes to the surface under the most trying circum- 
stances. These four men were by no means an exception 
to this rule. Messrs. Schryhart, Hand, Arneel, and Mer- 
rill were concerned as to .the good name of Chicago and 
their united standing in the eyes of Eastern financiers. 
It was a sad blow to them to think that the one great 
enterprise they had recently engineered a foil to some 
of the immense affairs which had recently had their 
geneses in New York and elsewhere should have come to 
so untimely an end. Chicago finance really should not be 
put to shame in this fashion if it could be avoided. So that 
when Mr. Schryhart arrived, quite warm and disturbed, 
and related in detail what he had just learned, his friends 
listened to him with eager and wary ears. 

It was now between five and six o'clock in the afternoon 
and still blazing outside, though the walls of the buildings 
on the opposite side of the street were a cool gray, picked 
out with pools of black shadow. A newsboy's strident voice 
was heard here and there calling an extra, mingled with the 
sound of homing feet and street-cars Cowperwood's 

"I'll tell you what it is," said Schryhart, finally. "It 
seems to me we have stood just about enough of this man's 
14 417 


beggarly interference. I'll admit that neither Hull nor 
Stackpole had any right to go to him. They laid themselves 
and us open to just such a trick as has been worked in this 
case." Mr. Schryhart was righteously incisive, cold, im- 
maculate, waspish. "At the same time," he continued, 
"any other moneyed man of equal standing with ourselves 
would have had the courtesy to confer with us and give us, 
or at least our banks, an opportunity for taking over these 
securities. He would have come to our aid for Chicago's 
sake. He had no occasion for throwing these stocks on 
the market, considering the state of things. He knows 
very well what the effect of their failure will be. The 
whole city is involved, but it's little he cares. Mr. Stack- 
pole tells me that he had an express understanding with 
him, or, rather, with the men who it is plain have been rep- 
resenting him, that not a single share of this stock was to 
be thrown on the market. As it is, I venture to say not a 
single share of it is to be found anywhere in any of their 
safes. I can sympathize to a certain extent with poor 
Stackpole. His position, of course, was very trying. But 
there is no excuse none in the world for such a stroke of 
trickery on Cowperwood's part. It's just as we've known all 
along the man is nothing but a wrecker. We certainly ought 
to find some method of ending his career here if possible." 

Mr. Schryhart kicked out his well-rounded legs, adjusted 
his soft-roll collar, and smoothed his short, crisp, wiry, now 
blackish-gray mustache. His black eyes flashed an undying 

At this point Mr. Arneel, with a cogency of reasoning 
which did not at the moment appear on the surface, in- 
quired: "Do any of you happen to know anything in par- 
ticular about the state of Mr. Cowperwood's finances at 
present? Of course we know of the Lake Street 'L' and 
the Northwestern. I hear he's building a house in New 
York, and I presume that's drawing on him somewhat. I 
know he has four hundred thousand dollars in loans from 
the Chicago Central; but what else has he?" 

"Well, there's the two hundred thousand he owes the 
Prairie National," piped up Schryhart, promptly. "From 
time to time I've heard of several other sums that escape 
my mind just now." 


Mr. Merrill, a diplomatic mouse of a man gray, Parisian, 
dandified was twisting in his large chair, surveying the 
others with shrewd though somewhat propitiatory eyes. In 
spite of his old grudge against Cowperwood because of 
the latter' s refusal to favor him in the matter of running 
street-car lines past his store, he had always been interested 
in the man as a spectacle. He really disliked the thought 
of plotting to injure Cowperwood. Just the same, he felt 
it incumbent to play his part in such a council as this. 
"My financial agent, Mr. Hill, loaned him several hundred 
thousand not long ago," he volunteered, a little doubtfully. 
"I presume he has many other outstanding obligations/* 

Mr. Hand stirred irritably. 

"Well, he's owing the Third National and the Lake City 
as much if not more," he commented. "I know where 
there are five hundred thousand dollars of his loans that 
haven't been mentioned here. Colonel Ballinger has two 
hundred thousand. He must owe Anthony Ewer all of 
that. He owes the Drovers and Traders all of one hundred 
and fifty thousand." 

On the basis of these suggestions Arneel made a mental 
calculation, and found that Cowperwood was indebted ap- 
parently to the tune of about three million dollars on call, 
if not more. 

"I haven't all the facts," he said, at last, slowly and 
distinctly. "If we could talk with some of the presidents 
of our banks to-night, we should probably find that there 
are other items of which we do not know. I do not like 
to be severe on any one, but our own situation is serious. 
Unless something is done to-night Hull & Stackpole will 
certainly fail in the morning. We are, of course, obligated 
to the various banks for our loans, and we are in honor 
bound to do all we can for them. The good name of 
Chicago and its rank as a banking center is to a certain 
extent involved. As I have already told Mr. Stackpole 
and Mr. Hull, I personally have gone as far as I can in 
this matter. I suppose it is the same with each of you. 
The only other resources we have under the circumstances 
are the banks, and they, as I understand it, are pretty much 
involved with stock on hypothecation. I know at least 
that this is true of the Lake City and the Douglas Trust." 



"It's true of nearly all of them," said Hand. Both 
Schryhart and Merrill nodded assent. 

"We are not obligated to Mr. Cowperwood for anything 
so far as I know," continued Mr. Arneel, after a slight but 
somewhat portentous pause. "As Mr. Schryhart has sug- 
gested here to-day, he seems to have a tendency to inter- 
fere and disturb on every occasion. Apparently he stands 
obligated to the various banks in the sums we have men- 
tioned. Why shouldn't his loans be called? It would 
help strengthen the local banks, and possibly permit them 
to aid in meeting this situation for us. While he might be 
in a position to retaliate, I doubt it." 

Mr. Arneel had no personal opposition to Cowperwood 
none, at least, of a deep-seated character. At the same 
time Hand, Merrill, and Schryhart were his friends. In 
him, they felt, centered the financial leadership of the 
city. The rise of Cowperwood, his Napoleonic airs, threat- 
ened this. As Mr. Arneel talked he never raised his eyes 
from the desk where he was sitting. He merely drummed 
solemnly on the surface with his fingers. The others con- 
templated him a little tensely, catching quite clearly the 
drift of his proposal. 

"An excellent idea excellent!" exclaimed Schryhart. 
"I will join in any programme that looks to the elimina- 
tion of this man. The present situation may be just what 
is needed to accomplish this. Anyhow, it may help to solve 
our difficulty. If so, it will certainly be a case of good 
coming out of evil." 

"I see no reason why these loans should not be called," 
Hand commented. "I'm willing to meet the situation on 
that basis." 

"And I have no particular objection," said Merrill. "I 
think, however, it would be only fair to give as much notice 
as possible of any decision we may reach," he added. 

"Why not send for the various bankers now," suggested 
Schryhart, "and find out exactly where he stands, and how 
much it will take to carry Hull & Stackpole? Then we 
can inform Mr. Cowperwood of what we propose to do." 

To this proposition Mr. Hand nodded an assent, at the 
same time consulting a large, heavily engraved gold watch 
of the most ponderous and inartistic design. "I think," 



he said, "that we have found the solution to this situation 
at last. I suggest that we get Candish and Kramer, of the 
stock -exchange" (he was referring to the president and 
secretary, respectively, of that organization)," and Simmons, 
of the Douglas Trust. We should soon be able to tell 
what we can do." 

The library of Mr. Amccl's home was fixed upon as the 
most suitable rendezvous. Telephones were forthwith set 
ringing and messengers and telegrams despatched in order 
that the subsidiary financial luminaries and the watch- 
dogs of the various local treasuries might come and, as it 
were, put their seal on this secret decision, which it was 
obviously presumed no minor official or luminary would 
have the temerity to gainsay. 



BY eight o'clock, at which hour the conference was set, 
the principal financial personages of Chicago were 
truly in a great turmoil. Messrs. Hand, Schryhart, 
Merrill, and Ameel were personally interested! What 
would you? As early as seven-thirty there was a pattering 
of horses' hoofs and a jingle of harness, as splendid open 
carriages were drawn up in front of various exclusive man- 
sions and a bank president, or a director at least, issued 
forth at the call of one of the big quadrumvirate to journey 
to the home of Mr. Arneel. Such interesting figures as 
Samuel Blackman, once president of the old Chicago Gas 
Company, and now a director of the Prairie National; 
Hudson Baker, once president of the West Chicago Gas 
Company, and now a director of the Chicago Central 
National; Ormonde Ricketts, publisher of the Chronicle 
and director of the Third National; Nome Simms, presi- 
dent of the Douglas Trust Company; Walter Rysam 
Cotton, once an active wholesale coffee- broker, but now a 
director principally of various institutions, were all en route. 
It was a procession of solemn, superior, thoughtful gentle- 
men, and all desirous of giving the right appearance and of 
making the correct impression. For, be it known, of all 
men none are so proud or vainglorious over the minor 
trappings of materialism as those who have but newly 
achieved them. It is so essential apparently to fulfil in 
manner and air, if not in fact, the principle of "presence" 
which befits the role of conservator of society and leader 
of wealth. Every one of those named and many more to 
the number of thirty rode thus loftily forth in the hot, 
dry evening air and were soon at the door of the large and 
comfortable home of Mr. Timothy Arneel. 



That important personage was not as yet present to re- 
ceive his guests, and neither were Messrs. Schryhart, Hand, 
nor Merrill. It would not be fitting for such eminent po- 
tentates to receive their underlings in person on such an 
occasion. At the hour appointed these four were still in 
their respective offices, perfecting separately the details 
of the plan upon which they had agreed and which, with 
a show of informality and of momentary inspiration, they 
would later present. For the time being their guests had to 
make the best of their absence. Drinks and liquors were 
served, but these were of small comfort. A rack pro- 
vided for straw hats was for some reason not used, every 
one preferring to retain his own head-gear. Against the 
background of wood panneling and the chairs covered 
with summer linen the company presented a galleryesque 
variety and interest. Messrs. Hull and Stackpole,the corpses 
or victims over which this serious gathering were about to 
sit in state, were not actually present within the room, 
though they were within call in another part of the house, 
where, if necessary, they could be reached and their advice 
or explanations heard. This presumably brilliant as- 
semblage of the financial weight and intelligence of the city 
appeared as solemn as owls under the pressure of a rumored 
impending financial crisis. Before Amccl's appearance there 
was a perfect buzz of minor financial gossip, such as: 

"You don't say?" 

"Is it as serious as that?" 

"I knew things were pretty shaky, but I was by no 
means certain how shaky. ' 

" Fortunately, we are not carrying much of that stock." 
(This from one of the few really happy bankers.) 

"This is a rather serious occasion, isn't it?" 

"You don't tell me!" 

"Dear, dear!" 

Never a word in criticism from any source of either 
Hand or Schryhart or Arneel or Merrill, though the fact 
that they were back of the pool was well known. Somehow 
they were looked upon as benefactors who were calling this 
conference with a view of saving others from disaster 
rather than for the purpose of assisting themselves. Such 
phrases as, "Oh, Mr. Hand! Marvelous man! Mar- 



velous!" or, "Mr. Schryhart very able very able indeed!" 
or, "You may depend on it these men are not going to 
allow anything serious to overtake the affairs of the city at 
this time," were heard on every hand. The fact that 
immense quantities of cash or paper were involved in be- 
half of one or other of these four was secretly admitted by 
one banker to another. No rumor that Cowperwood or 
his friends had been profiting or were in any way involved 
had come to any one present not as yet. 

At eight-thirty exactly Mr. Arneel first ambled in quite in- 
formally, Hand, Schryhart, and Merrill appearing separately 
very shortly after. Rubbing their hands and mopping their 
faces with their handkerchiefs, they looked about them, 
making an attempt to appear as nonchalant and cheerful 
as possible under such trying circumstances. There were 
many old acquaintances and friends to greet, inquiries 
to be made as to the health of wives and children. Mr. 
Arneel, clad in yellowish linen, with a white silk shirt of 
lavender stripe, and carrying a palm-leaf fan, seemed quite 
refreshed; his fine expanse of neck and bosom looked most 
paternal, and even Abrahamesque. His round, glistening 
pate exuded beads of moisture. Mr. Schryhart, on the 
contrary, for all the heat, appeared quite hard and solid, 
as though he might be carved out of some dark wood. 
Mr. Hand, much of Mr. ArneeFs type, but more solid and 
apparently more vigorous, had donned for the occasion a 
blue serge coat with trousers of an almost gaudy, bright 
stripe. His ruddy, archaic face was at once encouraging and 
serious, as though he were saying, "My dear children, this 
is very trying, but we will do the best we can." Mr. 
Merrill was as cool and ornate and lazy as it was possible 
for a great merchant to be. To one person and another he 
extended a cool, soft hand, nodding and smiling half the 
time in silence. To Mr. Arneel as the foremost citizen 
and the one of largest wealth fell the duty (by all agreed 
as most appropriate) of assuming the chair which in this 
case was an especially large one at the head of the table. 

There was a slight stir as he finally, at the suggestion of 
Schryhart, went forward and sat down. The other great 
men found seats. 

"Well, gentlemen," began Mr. Arneel, dryly (he had a 



low, husky voice), "I'll be as brief as I can. This is a 
very unusual occasion which brings us together. I suppose 
you all know how it is with Mr. Hull and Mr. Stackpole. 
American Match is likely to come down with a crash in 
the morning if something very radical isn't done to-night. 
It is at the suggestion of a number of men and banks that 
this meeting is called." 

Mr. Arneel had an informal, tete-a-tete way of speaking 
as if he were sitting on a chaise-longue with one other 

"The failure," he went on, firmly, "if it comes, as I hope 
it won't, will make a lot of trouble for a number of banks 
and private individuals which we would like to avoid, I 
am sure. The principal creditors of American Match are 
our local banks and some private individuals who have 
loaned money on the stock. I have a list of them here, 
along with the amounts for which they are responsible. 
It is in the neighborhood of ten millions of dollars." 

Mr. Arneel, with the unconscious arrogance of wealth 
and power, did not trouble to explain how he got the list, 
neither did he show the slightest perturbation. He merely 
fished down in one pocket in a heavy way and produced it, 
spreading it out on the table before him. The company 
wondered whose names and what amounts were down, 
and whether it was his intention to read it. 

"Now," resumed Mr. Arneel, seriously, "I want to say 
here that Mr. Stackpole, Mr. Merrill, Mr. Hand, and my- 
self have been to a certain extent investors in this stock, 
and up to this afternoon we felt it to be our duty, not so 
much to ourselves as to the various banks which have ac- 
cepted this stock as collateral and to the city at large, to 
sustain it as much as possible. We believed in Mr. Hull 
and Mr. Stackpole. We might have gone still further if 
there had been any hope that a number of others could 
carry the stock without seriously injuring themselves; but 
in view of recent developments we know that this can't 
be done. For some time Mr. Hull and Mr. Stackpole and 
the various bank officers have had reason to think that 
some one has been cutting the ground from under them, 
and now they know it. It is because of this, and because 
only concerted action on the part of banks and individuals 



can save the financial credit of the city at this time, that 
this meeting is called. Stocks are going to continue to be 
thrown on the market. It is possible that Hull & Stack- 
pole may have to liquidate in some way. One thing is 
certain: unless a large sum of money is gathered to meet 
the claim against them in the morning, they will fail. The 
trouble is due indirectly, of course, to this silver agitation; 
but it is due a great deal more, we believe, to a piece of local 
sharp dealing which has just come to light, and which has 
really been the cause of putting the financial community in 
the tight place where it stands to-night. I might as well 
speak plainly as to this matter. It is the work of one man 
Mr. Cowperwood. American Match might have pulled 
through and the city been have spared the danger which 
now confronts it if Mr. Hull and Mr. Stackpole had not 
made the mistake of going to this man." 

Mr. Arneel paused, and Mr. Nome Simms, more excit- 
able than most by temperament, chose to exclaim, bitterly: 
"The wrecker!" A stir of interest passed over the others 
accompanied by murmurs of disapproval. 

"The moment he got the stock in his hands as collateral," 
continued Mr. Arneel, solemnly, "and in the face of an 
agreement not to throw a share on the market, he has been 
unloading steadily. That is what has been happening 
yesterday and to-day. Over fifteen thousand shares of this 
stock, which cannot very well be traced to outside sources, 
have been thrown on the market, and we have every rea- 
son to believe that all of it comes from the same place. 
The result is that American Match, and Mr. Hull and Mr. 
Stackpole, are on the verge of collapse." 

"The scoundrel!" repeated Mr. Norrie Simms, bitterly, 
almost rising to his feet. The Douglas Trust Company 
was heavily interested in American Match. 

"What an outrage!" commented Mr. Lawrence, of the 
Prairie National, which stood to lose at least three hun- 
dred thousand dollars in shrinkage of values on hypothe- 
cated stock alone. To this bank that Cowperwood owed 
at least three hundred thousand dollars on call. 

"Depend on it to find his deviPs hoof in it somewhere," 
observed Jordan Jules, who had never been able to make 
any satisfactory progress in his fight on Cowperwood in 



connection with the city council and the development of 
the Chicago General Company. The Chicago Central, of 
which he was now a director, was one of the banks from 
which Cowperwood had judiciously borrowed. 

"It's a pity he should be allowed to go on bedeviling the 
town in this fashion," observed Mr. Sunderland Sledd to 
his neighbor, Mr. Duane Kingsland, who was a director 
in a bank controlled by Mr. Hand. 

The latter, as well as Schryhart, observed with satis- 
faction the effect of Mr. Arneel's words on the com- 

Mr. Arneel now again fished in his pocket laboriously, 
and drew forth a second slip of paper which he spread out 
before him. "This is a time when frankness must prevail," 
he went on, solemnly, "if anything is to be done, and I am 
in hopes that we can do something. I have here a memo- 
randum of some of the loans which the local banks have 
made to Mr. Cowperwood and which are still standing on 
their books. I want to know if there are any further loans 
of which any of you happen to know and which you are 
willing to mention at this time." 

He looked solemnly around. 

Immediately several loans were mentioned by Mr. Cotton 
and Mr. Osgood which had not been heard of previously. 
The company was now very well aware, in a general way, 
of what was coming. 

"Well, gentlemen," continued Mr. Arneel, "I have, 
previous to this meeting, consulted with a number of our 
leading men. They agree with me that, since so many 
banks are in need of funds to carry this situation, and since 
there is no particular obligation on anybody's part to look 
after the interests of Mr. Cowperwood, it might be just as 
well if these loans of his, which are outstanding, were called 
and the money used to aid the banks and the men who 
have been behind Mr. Hull and Mr. Stackpole. I have 
no personal feeling against Mr. Cowperwood that is, he 
has never done me any direct injury but naturally I can- 
not approve of the course he has seen fit to take in this 
case. Now, if there isn't money available from some source 
to enable you gentlemen to turn around, there will be a 
number of other failures. Runs may be started on a half- 



dozen banks. Time is the essence of a situation like this, 
and we haven't any time." 

Mr. Arneel paused and looked around. A slight buzz 
of conversation sprang up, mostly bitter and destructive 
criticism of Cowperwood. 

"It would be only just if he could be made to pay for 
this," commented Mr. Blackman to Mr. Sledd. "He has 
been allowed to play fast and loose long enough. It is 
time some one called a halt on him." 

"Well, it looks to me as though it would be done to- 
night," Mr. Sledd returned. 

Meanwhile Mr. Schryhart was again rising to his feet. 
"I think," he was saying, "if there is no objection on any 
one's part, Mr. Arneel, as chairman, might call for a for- 
mal expression of opinion from the different gentlemen 
present which will be on record as the sense of this 

At this point Mr. Kingsland, a tall, whiskered gentleman, 
arose to inquire exactly how it came that Cowperwood had 
secured these stocks, and whether those present were abso- 
lutely sure that the stock has been coming from him or 
from his friends. "I would not like to think we were 
doing any man an injustice," he concluded. 

In reply to this Mr. Schryhart called in Mr. Stackpole 
to corroborate him. Some of the stocks had been positively 
identified. Stackpole related the full story, which some- 
how seemed to electrify the company, so intense was the 
feeling against Cowperwood. 

"It is amazing that men should be permitted to do things 
like this and still hold up their heads in the business world," 
said one, Mr. Vasto, president of the Third National, to 
his neighbor. 

"I should think there would be no difficulty in securing 
united action in a case of this kind," said Mr. Lawrence, 
president of the Prairie National, who was very much be- 
holden to Hand for past and present favors. 

"Here is a case," put in Schryhart, who was merely wait- 
ing for an opportunity to explain further, "in which an 
unexpected political situation develops an unexpected 
crisis, and this man uses it for his personal aggrandizement 
and to the detriment of every other person. The welfare 



of the city is nothing to him. The stability of the very 
banks he borrows from is nothing. He is a pariah, and if 
this opportunity to show him what we think of him and his 
methods is not used we will be doing less than our duty 
to the city and to one another." 

"Gentlemen," said Mr. Arneel, finally, after Cowper- 
wood's different loans had been carefully tabulated, " don't 
you think it would be wise to send for Mr. Cowperwood 
and state to him directly the decision we have reached and 
the reasons for it? I presume all of us would agree that he 
should be notified." 

"I think he should be notified," said Mr. Merrill, who 
saw behind this smooth talk the iron club that was being 

Both Hand and Schryhart looked at each other and 
Arneel while they politely waited for some one else to make 
a suggestion. When no one ventured, Hand, who was 
hoping this would prove a ripping blow to Cowperwood, 
remarked, viciously: 

"He might as well be told if we can reach him. It's 
sufficient notice, in my judgment. He might as well 
understand that this is the united action of the leading 
financial forces of the city." 

"Quite so," added Mr. Schryhart. "It is time he under- 
stood, I think, what the moneyed men of this community 
think of him and his crooked ways." 

A murmur of approval ran around the room. 

"Very well," said Mr. Arneel. "Anson, you know him 
better than some of the rest of us. Perhaps you had better 
see if you can get him on the telephone and ask him to call. 
Tell him that we are here in executive session." 

"I think he might take it more seriously if you spoke 
to him, Timothy," replied Merrill. 

Arneel, being always a man of action, arose and left the 
room, seeking a telephone which was located in a small 
workroom or office den on the same floor, where he could 
talk without fear of being overheard. 

Sitting in his library on this particular evening, and 
studying the details of half a dozen art-catalogues which 
had accumulated during the week, Cowperwood was de- 



cidedly conscious of the probable collapse of Amercian 
Match on the morrow. Through his brokers and agents he 
was well aware that a conference was on at this hour at the 
house of Arneel. More than once during the day he had 
seen bankers and brokers who were anxious about possible 
shrinkage in connection with various hypothecated se- 
curities, and to-night his valet had called him to the 'phone 
half a dozen times to talk with Addison, with Kaffrath, 
with a broker by the name of Prosser who had succeeded 
Laughlin in active control of his private speculations, and 
also, be it said, with several of the banks whose presidents 
were at this particular conference. If Cowperwood was 
hated, mistrusted, or feared by the overlords of these 
institutions, such was by no means the case with the under- 
lings, some of whom, through being merely civil, were hope- 
ful of securing material benefits from him at some future 
time. With a feeling of amused satisfaction he was medi- 
tating upon how heavily and neatly he had countered on 
his enemies. Whereas they were speculating as to how to 
offset their heavy losses on the morrow, he was congrat- 
ulating himself on corresponding gains. When all his 
deals should be closed up he would clear within the neigh- 
borhood of a million dollars. He did not feel that he had 
worked Messrs. Hull and Stackpole any great injustice. 
They were at their wit's end. If he had not seized this 
opportunity to undercut them Schryhart or Arneel would 
have done so, anyhow. 

Mingled with thoughts of a forthcoming financial triumph 
were others of Berenice Fleming. There are such things 
as figments of the brain, even in the heads of colossi. He 
thought of Berenice early and late; he even dreamed of 
her. He laughed at himself at times for thus being taken 
in the toils of a mere girl the strands of her ruddy hair 
but working in Chicago these days he was always conscious 
of her, of what she was doing, of where she was going in 
the East, of how happy he would be if they were only to- 
gether, happily mated. 

It had so happened, unfortunately, that in the course of 
this summer's stay at Narragansett Berenice, among other 
diversions, had assumed a certain interest in one Lieutenant 



Lawrence Braxmar, U.S.N., whom she found loitering there, 
and who was then connected with the naval station at 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Cowperwood, coming East 
at this time for a few days' stay in order to catch another 
glimpse of his ideal, had been keenly disturbed by the sight 
of Braxmar and by what his presence might signify. Up 
to this time he had not given much thought to younger 
men in connection with her. Engrossed in her personality, 
he could think of nothing as being able to stand long be- 
tween him and the fulfilment of his dreams. Berenice 
must be his. That radiant spirit, enwrapt in so fair an out- 
ward seeming, must come to see and rejoice in him. Yet 
she was so young and airy in her mood that he sometimes 
wondered. How was he to draw near? What say exactly? 
What do? Berenice was in no way hypnotized by either 
his wealth or fame. She was accustomed (she little knew 
to what extent by his courtesy) to a world more resplen- 
dent in its social security than his own. Surveying Brax- 
mar keenly upon their first meeting, Cowperwood had liked 
his face and intelligence, had judged him to be able, but had 
wondered instantly how he could get rid of him. Viewing 
Berenice and the Lieutenant as they strolled off together 
along a summery seaside veranda, he had been for once 
lonely, and had sighed. These uncertain phases of affec- 
tion could become very trying at times. He wished he were 
young again, single. 

To-night, therefore, this thought was haunting him like a 
gloomy undertone, when at half past eleven the telephone 
rang once more, and he heard a low, even voice which said: 

"Mr. Cowperwood? This is Mr. Arneel." 


"A number of the principal financial men of the city 
are gathered here at my house this evening. The question 
of ways and means of preventing a panic to-morrow is up 
for discussion. As you probably know, Hull & Stackpole 
are in trouble. Unless something is done for them to- 
night they will certainly fail to-morrow for twenty million 
dollars. It isn't so much their failure that we are con- 
sidering as it is the effect on stocks in general, and on the 
banks. As I understand it, a number of your loans are 
involved. The gentlemen here have suggested that I call 



you up and ask you to come here, if you will, to help us 
decide what ought to be done. Something very drastic 
will have to be decided on before morning." 

During this speech Cowperwood's brain had been re- 
ciprocating like a well-oiled machine. 

"My loans?" he inquired, suavely. "What have they 
to do with the situation? I don't owe Hull & Stackpole 

"Very true. But a number of the banks are carrying 
securities for you. The idea is that a number of these will 
have to be called the majority of them unless some other 
way can be devised to-night. We thought you might pos- 
sibly wish to come and talk it over, and that you might be 
able to suggest some other way out." 

"I see," replied Cowperwood, caustically. "The idea 
is to sacrifice me in order to save Hull & Stackpole. Is 
that it?" 

His eyes, quite as though Arneel were before him, 
emitted malicious sparks. 

"Well, not precisely that," replied Arneel, conservative- 
ly; "but something will have to be done. Don't you 
think you had better come over?" 

"Very good. I'll come," was the cheerful reply. "It 
isn't anything that can be discussed over the 'phone, any- 

He hung up the receiver and called for his runabout. 
On the way over he thanked the prevision which had 
caused him, in anticipation of some such attack as this, 
to set aside in the safety vaults of the Chicago Trust Com- 
pany several millions in low-interest-bearing government 
bonds. Now, if worst came to worst, these could be drawn 
on and hypothecated. These men should see at last how 
powerful he was and how secure. 

As he entered the home of Arneel he was a picturesque 
and truly representative figure of his day. In a light sum- 
mer suit of cream and gray twill, with a straw hat orna- 
mented by a blue-and-white band, and wearing yellow 
quarter-shoes of the softest leather, he appeared a very 
model of trig, well-groomed self-sufficiency. As he was 
ushered into the room he gazed about him in a brave, 
leonine way. 



"A fine night for a conference, gentlemen," he said, 
walking toward a chair indicated by Mr. Arneel. "I must 
say I never saw so many straw hats at a funeral before. 
I understand that my obsequies are contemplated. What 
can I do?" 

He beamed in a genial, sufficient way, which in any one 
else would have brought a smile to the faces of the com- 
pany. In him it was an implication of basic power which 
secretly enraged and envenomed nearly all those present. 
They merely stirred in a nervous and wholly antagonistic 
way. A number of those who knew him personally nodded 
Merrill, Lawrence, Simms; but there was no friendly 
light in their eyes. 

"Well, gentlemen ?" he inquired, after a moment or two 
of ominous silence, observing Hand's averted face and 
Schryhart's eyes, which were lifted ceilingward. 

"Mr. Cowperwood," began Mr. Arneel, quietly, in no 
way disturbed by Cowperwood's jaunty air, "as I told 
you over the 'phone, this meeting is called to avert, if pos- 
sible, what is likely to be a very serious panic in the morn- 
ing. Hull & Stackpole are on the verge of failure. The 
outstanding loans are considerable in the neighborhood 
of seven or eight million here in Chicago. On the other 
hand, there are assets in the shape of American Match 
stocks and other properties sufficient to carry them for a 
while longer if the banks can only continue their loans. 
As you know, we are all facing a falling market, and the 
banks are short of ready money. Something has to be done. 
We have canvassed the situation here to-night as thorough- 
ly as possible, and the general conclusion is that your loans 
are among the most available assets which can be reached 
quickly. Mr. Schryhart, Mr. Merrill, Mr. Hand, and my- 
self have done all we can thus far to avert a calamity, but 
we find that some one with whom Hull & Stackpole have 
been hypothecating stocks has been feeding them out in 
order to break the market. We shall know how to avoid 
that in the future" (and he looked hard at Cowperwood), 
"but the thing at present is immediate cash, and your loans 
are the largest and the most available. Do you think you 
can find the means to pay them back in the morning?" 

Arneel blinked his keen, blue eyes solemnly, while the 



rest, like a pack of genial but hungry wolves, sat and sur- 
veyed this apparently whole but now condemned scape- 
goat and victim. Cowperwood, who was keenly alive to 
the spirit of the company, looked blandly and fearlessly 
around. On his knee he held his blue-banded straw hat 
neatly balanced on one edge. His full mustache curled 
upward in a jaunty, arrogant way. 

"I can meet my loans," he replied, easily. "But I would 
not advise you or any of the gentlemen present to call 
them." His voice, for all its lightness, had an ominous 

"Why not?" inquired Hand, grimly and heavily, turn- 
ing squarely about and facing him. "It doesn't appear 
that you have extended any particular courtesy to Hull 
or Stackpole." His face was red and scowling. 

"Because," replied Cowperwood, smiling, and ignoring 
the reference to his trick, I know why this meeting was 
called. I know that these gentlemen here, who are not 
saying a word, are mere catspaws and rubber stamps for 
you and Mr. Schryhart and Mr. Arneel and Mr. Merrill. 
I know how you four gentlemen have been gambling in 
this stock, and what your probable losses are, and that it 
is to save yourselves from further loss that you have de- 
cided to make me the scapegoat. I want to tell you here" 
and he got up, so that in his full stature he loomed over 
the room "you can't do it. You can't make me your 
catspaw to pull your chestnuts out of the fire, and no 
rubber-stamp conference can make any such attempt suc- 
cessful. If you want to know what to do, I'll tell you 
close the Chicago Stock Exchange to-morrow morning 
and keep it closed. Then let Hull & Stackpole fail, or 
if not you four put up the money to carry them. If you 
can't, let your banks do it. If you open the day by calling 
a single one of my loans before I am ready to pay it, I'll 
gut every bank from here to the river. You'll have panic, 
all the panic you want. Good evening, gentlemen." 

He drew out his watch, glanced at it, and quickly walked 
to the door, putting on his hat as he went. As he bustled 
jauntily down the wide interior staircase, preceded by a 
footman to open the door, a murmur of dissatisfaction 
arose in the room he had just left. 



"The wrecker!" re-exclaimed Nome Simms, angrily, 
astounded at this demonstration of defiance. 

"The scoundrel!" declared Mr. Blackman. "Where 
does he get the wealth to talk like that?" 

"Gentlemen," said Mr. Arneel, stung to the quick by 
this amazing effrontery, and yet made cautious by the 
blazing wrath of Cowperwood, "it is useless to debate 
this question in anger. Mr. Cowperwood evidently refers 
to loans which can be controlled in his favor, and of which 
I for one know nothing. I do not see what can be done 
until we do know. Perhaps some of you can tell us what 
they are." 

But no one could, and after due calculation advice was 
borrowed of caution. The loans of Frank Algernon Cow- 
perwood were not called. 



THE failure of American Match the next morning was 
one of those events that stirred the city and the 
nation and lingered in the minds of men for years. At 
the last moment it was decided that in lieu of calling Cow- 
perwood's loans Hull & Stackpole had best be sacrificed, 
the stock -exchange closed, and all trading ended. This 
protected stocks from at least a quotable decline and left 
the banks free for several days (ten all told) in which to 
repair their disrupted finances and buttress themselves 
against the eventual facts. Naturally, the minor specu- 
lators throughout the city those who had expected to make 
a fortune out of this crash raged and complained, but, 
being faced by an adamantine exchange directorate, a sub- 
servient press, and the alliance between the big bankers 
and the heavy quadrumvirate, there was nothing to be 
done. The respective bank presidents talked solemnly 
of "a mere temporary flurry," Hand, Schryhart, Merrill, 
and Arneel went still further into their pockets to protect 
their interests, and Cowperwood, triumphant, was round- 
ly denounced by the smaller fry as a "bucaneer," a "pirate," 
a "wolf" indeed, any opprobrious term that came into 
their minds. The larger men faced squarely the fact that 
here was an enemy worthy of their steel. Would he master 
them? Was he already the dominant money power in 
Chicago? Could he thus flaunt their helplessness and his 
superiority in their eyes and before their underlings and 
go unwhipped? 

"I must give in!" Hosmer Hand had declared to Arneel 
and Schryhart, at the close of the Arneel house conference 
and as they stood in consultation after the others had 
departed. "We seem to be beaten to-night, but I, for one, 



am not through yet. He has won to-night, but he won't 
win always. This is a fight to a finish between me and 
him. The rest of you can stay in or drop out, just as you 

"Hear, hear!" exclaimed Schryhart, laying a fervently 
sympathetic hand on his shoulder. "Every dollar that 
I have is at your service, Hosmer. This fellow can't win 
eventually. I'm with you to the end." 

Arneel, walking with Merrill and the others to the door, 
was silent and dour. He had been cavalierly affronted by 
a man who, but a few short years before, he would have 
considered a mere underling. Here was Cowperwood 
bearding the lion in his den, dictating terms to the princi- 
pal financial figures of the city, standing up trig and reso- 
lute, smiling in their faces and telling them in so many 
words to go to the devil. Mr. Arneel glowered under low- 
ering brows, but what could he do? "We must see," he 
said to the others, "what time will bring. Just now there 
is nothing much to do. This crisis has been too sudden. 
You say you are not through with him, Hosmer, and neither 
am I. out we must wait. We shall have to break him 
politically in this city, and I am confident that in the end 
we can do it." The others were grateful for his courage 
even though to-morrow he and they must part with millions 
to protect themselves and the banks. For the first time 
Merrill concluded that he would have to fight Cowperwood 
openly from now on, though even yet he admired his cour- 
age. "But he is too defiant, too cavalier! A very lion of 
a man," he said to himself. "A man with the heart of a 
Numidian lion." 

It was true. 

From this day on for a little while, and because there 
was no immediate political contest in sight, there was com- 
parative peace in Chicago, although it more resembled an 
armed camp operating under the terms of some agreed 
neutrality than it did anything else. Schryhart, Hand, 
Arneel, and Merrill were quietly watchful. Cowperwood's 
chief concern was lest his enemies might succeed in their 
project of worsting him politically in one or all three of the 
succeeding elections which were due to occur every two years 



between now and 1903, at which time his franchises would 
have to be renewed. As in the past they had made it 
necessary for him to work against them through bribery 
and perjury, so in ensuing struggles they might render it 
more and more difficult for him or his agents to suborn the 
men elected to office. The subservient and venal council- 
men whom he now controlled might be replaced by men 
who, if no more honest, would be more loyal to the enemy, 
thus blocking the extension of his franchises. Yet upon 
a renewal period of at least twenty and preferably fifty 
years depended the fulfilment of all the colossal things he 
had begun his art-collection, his new mansion, his grow- 
ing prestige as a financier, his rehabilitation socially, and 
the celebration of his triumph by a union, morganatic or 
otherwise, with some one who would be worthy to share 
his throne. 

It is curious how that first and most potent tendency 
of the human mind, ambition, becomes finally dominating. 
Here was Cowperwood at fifty-seven, rich beyond the wild- 
est dream of trie average man, celebrated in a local and in 
some respects in a national way, who was nevertheless feel- 
ing that by no means had his true aims been achieved. He 
was not yet all-powerful as were divers Eastern magnates, 
or even these four or five magnificently moneyed men here 
in Chicago who, by plodding thought and labor in many 
dreary fields such as Cowperwood himself frequently 
scorned, had reaped tremendous and uncontended profits. 
How was it, he asked himself, that his path had almost con- 
stantly been strewn with stormy opposition and threatened 
calamity? Was it due to his private immorality? Other 
men were immoral; the mass, despite religious dogma and 
fol-de-rol theory imposed from the top, was generally so. 
Was it not rather due to his inability to control without 
dominating personally without standing out fully and 
clearly in the sight of all men? Sometimes he thought so. 
The humdrum conventional world could not brook his 
daring, his insouciance, his constant desire to call a spade 
a spade. His genial sufficiency was a taunt and a mock- 
ery to many. The hard implication of his eye was dreaded 
by the weaker as fire is feared by a burnt child. Dissem- 
bling enough, he was not sufficiently oily and make-believe. 

43 8 


Well, come what might, he did not need to be or mean to 
be so, and there the game must lie; but he had not by any 
means attained the height of his ambition. He was not 
yet looked upon as a money prince. He could not rank as 
yet with the magnates of the East the serried Sequoias of 
Wall Street. Until he could stand with these men, until 
he could have a magnificent mansion, acknowledged as 
such by all, until he could have a world-famous gallery, 
Berenice, millions what did it avail? 

The character of Cowperwood's New York house, which 
proved one of the central achievements of his later years, 
was one of those flowerings-out of disposition which event- 
uate in the case of men quite as in that of plants. After 
the passing of the years neither a modified Gothic (such as 
his Philadelphia house had been), nor a conventionalized 
Norman-French, after the style of his Michigan Avenue 
home, seemed suitable to him. Only the Italian palaces 
of medieval or Renaissance origin which he had seen 
abroad now appealed to him as examples of what a stately 
residence should be. He was really seeking something 
which should not only reflect his private tastes as to a home, 
but should have the more enduring qualities of a palace 
or even a museum, which might stand as a monument to 
his memory. After much searching Cowperwood had found 
an architect in New York who suited him entirely one 
Raymond Pyne, rake, raconteur, man-about- town who was 
still first and foremost an artist, with an eye for the ex- 
ceptional and the perfect. These two spent days and days 
together meditating on the details of this home museum. 
An immense gallery was to occupy the west wing of the 
house and be devoted to pictures; a second gallery should 
occupy the south wing and be given over to sculpture and 
large whorls of art; and these two wings were to swing as an 
L around the house proper, the latter standing in the angle 
between them. The whole structure was to be of a rich 
brownstone, heavily carved. For its interior decoration 
the richest woods, silks, tapestries, glass, and marbles 
were canvassed. The main rooms were to surround a 
great central court with a colonnade of pink - veined 
alabaster, and in the center there would be an electrically 
lighted fountain of alabaster and silver. Occupying the 



east wall a series of hanging baskets of orchids, or of other 
fresh flowers, were to give a splendid glow of color, a morn- 
ing-sun effect, to this richly artificial realm. One chamber 
a lounge on the second floor was to be entirely lined 
with thin-cut transparent marble of a peach-blow hue, 
the lighting coming only through these walls and from with- 
out. Here in a perpetual atmosphere of sunrise were to 
be racks for exotic birds, a trellis of vines, stone benches, 
a central pool of glistening water, and an echo of music. 
Pyne assured him that after his death this room would 
make an excellent chamber in which to exhibit porcelains, 
jades, ivories, and other small objects of value. 

Cowperwood was now actually transferring his posses- 
sions to New York, and had persuaded Aileen to accom- 
pany him. Fine compound of tact and chicane that he 
was, he had the effrontery to assure her that they could 
here create a happier social life. His present plan was to 
pretend a marital contentment which had no basis solely 
in order to make this transition period as undisturbed as 
possible. Subsequently he might get a divorce, or he might 
make an arrangement whereby his life would be rendered 
happy outside the social pale. 

Of all this Berenice Fleming knew nothing at all. At the 
same time the building of this splendid mansion event- 
ually awakened her to an understanding of the spirit of 
art that occupied the center of Cowperwood's iron per- 
sonality and caused her to take a real interest in him. 
Before this she had looked on him as a kind of Western 
interloper coming East and taking advantage of her 
mother's good nature to scrape a little social courtesy. 
Now, however, all that Mrs. Carter had been telling her of 
his personality and achievements was becoming crystallized 
into a glittering chain of facts. This house, the papers 
were fond of repeating, would be a jewel of rare workman- 
ship. Obviously the Cowperwopds were going to try to 
enter society. "What a pity it is," Mrs. Carter once said 
to Berenice, "that he couldn't have gotten a divorce from 
his wife before he began all this. I am so afraid they will 
never be received. He would be if he only had the right 
woman; but she " Mrs. Carter, who had once seen 
Aileen in Chicago, shook her head doubtfully. "She is 



not the type," was her comment. "She has neither the 
air nor the understanding/* 

"If he is so unhappy with her," observed Berenice, 
thoughtfully, "why doesn't he leave her? She can be 
happy without him. It is so silly this cat-and-dog exist- 
ence. Still I suppose she values the position he gives her," 
she added, "since she isn't so interesting herself." 

"I suppose," said Mrs. Carter, "that he married her 
twenty years ago, when he was a very different man from 
what he is to-day. She is not exactly coarse, but not clever 
enough. She cannot do what he would like to see done. 
I hate to see mismatings of this kind, and yet they are so 
common. I do hope, Bevy, that when you marry it will 
be some one with whom you can get along, though I do 
believe I would rather see you unhappy than poor." 

This was delivered as an early breakfast peroration in 
Central Park South, with the morning sun glittering on one 
of the nearest park lakes. Bevy, in spring-green and old- 
gold, was studying the social notes in one of the morning 

"I think I should prefer to be unhappy with wealth than 
to be without it," she said, idly, without looking up. 

Her mother surveyed her admiringly, conscious of her 
imperious mood. What was to become of her? Would 
she marry well? Would she marry in time? Thus far 
no breath of the wretched days in Louisville had affected 
Berenice. Most of those with whom Mrs. Carter had 
found herself compelled to deal would be kind enough to 
keep her secret. But there were others. How near she 
had been to drifting on the rocks when Cowperwood had 
appeared ! 

' After all," observed Berenice, thoughtfully, "Mr. Cow- 
perwood isn't a mere money-grabber, is he? So many of 
these Western moneyed men are so dull." 

"My dear," exclaimed Mrs. Carter, who by now had be- 
come a confirmed satellite of her secret protector, "you 
don't understand him at all. He is a very astonishing 
man, I tell you. The world is certain to hear a lot more of 
Frank Cowperwood before he dies. You can say what you 
please, but some one has to make the money in the first 
place. It's little enough that good breeding does for you 



in poverty. I know, because I've seen plenty of our friends 
come down." 

In the new house, on a scaffold one day, a famous sculp- 
tor and his assistants were at work on a Greek frieze which 
represented dancing nymphs linked together by looped 
wreaths. Berenice and her mother happened to be pass- 
ing. They stopped to look, and Cowperwood joined them. 
He waved his hand at the figures of the frieze, and said to 
Berenice, with his old, gay air, "If they had copied you 
they would have done better." 

"How charming of you!" she replied, with her cool, 
strange, blue eyes fixed on him. "They are beautiful." 
In spite of her earlier prejudices she knew now that he and 
she had one god in common Art; and that his mind was 
fixed on things beautiful as on a shrine. 

He merely looked at her. 

"This house can be little more than a museum to me," 
he remarked, simply, when her mother was out of hearing; 
"but I shall build it as perfectly as I can. Perhaps others 
may enjoy it if I do not." 

She looked at him musingly, understandingly, and he 
smiled. She realized, of course, that he was trying to con- 
vey to her that he was lonely. 



ENGROSSED in the pleasures and entertainments 
l~l which Cowperwood's money was providing, Berenice 
had until recently given very little thought to her future. 
Cowperwood had been most liberal. "She is young," he 
once said to Mrs. Carter, with an air of disinterested liber- 
ality, when they were talking about Berenice and her 
future. "She is an exquisite. Let her have her day. If 
she marries well she can pay you back, or me. But give 
her all she needs now." And he signed checks with the 
air of a gardener who is growing a wondrous orchid. 

The truth was that Mrs. Carter had become so fond of 
Berenice as an object of beauty, a prospective grande dame, 
that she would have sold her soul to see her well placed; 
and as the money to provide the dresses, setting, equipage 
had to come from somewhere, she had placed her spirit in 
subjection to Cowperwood and pretended not to see the 
compromising position in which she was placing all that 
was near and dear to her. 

"Oh, you're so good," she more than once said to him, 
a mist of gratitude commingled with joy in her eyes. "I 
would never have believed it of any one. But Bevy 

"An esthete is an esthete," Cowperwood replied. "They 
are rare enough. I like to see a spirit as fine as hers move 
untroubled. She will make her way." 

Seeing Lieutenant Braxmar in the foreground of Bere- 
nice's affairs, Mrs. Carter was foolish enough to harp on 
the matter in a friendly, ingratiating way. Braxmar was 
really interesting after his fashion. He was young, tall, 
muscular, and handsome, a graceful dancer; but, better 
yet, he represented in his moods lineage, social position, 
a number of the things which engaged Berenice most. He 



was intelligent, serious, with a kind of social grace which 
was gay, courteous, wistful. Berenice met him first at a 
local dance, where a new step was being practised 
" dancing in the barn," as it was called and so airily did 
he tread it with her in his handsome uniform that she was 
half smitten for the moment. 

"You dance delightfully," she said. "Is this a part of 
your life on the ocean wave?" 

"Deep-sea-going dancing," he replied, with a heavenly 
smile. "All battles are accompanied by balls, don't you 
know ?" 

"Oh, what a wretched jest!" she replied. "It's un- 
believably bad." 

"Not for me. I can make much worse ones." 

"Not for me," she replied, "I can't stand them." And 
they went prancing on. Afterward he came and sat by 
her; they walked in the moonlight, he told her of naval 
life, his Southern home and connections. 

Mrs. Carter, seeing him with Berenice, and having been 
introduced, observed the next morning, "I like your Lieu- 
tenant, Bevy. I know some of his relatives well. They 
come from the Carolinas. He's sure to come into money. 
The whole family is wealthy. Do you think he might be 
interested in you?" 

"Oh, possibly yes, I presume so," replied Berenice, 
airily, for she did not take too kindly to this evidence of 
parental interest. She preferred to see life drift on in some 
nebulous way at present, and this was bringing matters 
too close to home, "Still, he has so much machinery on 
his mind I doubt whether he could take any serious in- 
terest in a woman. He is almost more of a battle-ship than 
he is a man." 

She made a mouth, and Mrs. Carter commented gaily: 
"You rogue! All the men take an interest in you. You 
don't think you could care for him, then, at all?" 

"Why, mother, what a question! Why do you ask? 
Is it so essential that I should?" 

"Oh, not that exactly," replied Mrs. Carter, sweetly, 
bracing herself for a word which she felt incumbent upon 
her; "but think of his position. He comes of such a good 
family, and he must be heir to a considerable fortune in 



his own right. Oh, Bevy, I don't want to hurry or spoil 
your life in any way, but do keep in mind the future. 
With your tastes and instincts money is so essential, and 
unless you marry it I don't know where you are to get it. 
Your father was so thoughtless, and Rolfe's was even 

She sighed. 

Berenice, for almost the first time in her life, took solemn 
heed of this thought. She pondered whether she could en- 
dure Braxmar as a life partner, follow him around the world, 
perhaps retransferring her abode to the South; but she 
could not make up her mind. This suggestion on the part 
of her mother rather poisoned the cup for her. To tell the 
truth, in this hour of doubt her thoughts turned vaguely 
to Cowperwood as one who represented in his avid way 
more of the things she truly desired. She remembered his 
wealth, his plaint that his new house could be only a 
museum, the manner in which he approached her with 
looks and voiceless suggestions. But he was old and mar- 
ried out of the question, therefore and Braxmar was 
young and charming. To think her mother should have 
been so tactless as to suggest the necessity for consideration 
in his case! It almost spoiled him for her. And was their 
financial state, then, as uncertain as her mother indicated? 

In this crisis some of her previous social experiences 
became significant. For instance, [only a few weeks previ- 
ous to her meeting with Braxmar she had been visiting at 
the country estate of the Corscaden Batjers, at Redding 
Hills, Long Island, and had been sitting with her hostess 
in the morning room of Hillcrest, which commanded a 
lovely though distant view of Long Island Sound. 

Mrs. Fredericka Batjer was a chestnut blonde, fair, cool, 
quiescent a type out of Dutch art. Clad in a morning 
gown of gray and silver, her hair piled in a Psyche knot, 
she had in her lap on this occasion a Java basket filled 
with some attempt at Norwegian needlework. 

"Bevy," she said, "you remember Kilmer Duelma, 
don't you? Wasn't he at the Haggertys' last summer 
when you were there?" 

Berenice, who was seated at a small Chippendale writing- 
desk penning letters, glanced up, her mind visioning for the 



moment the youth in question. Kilmer Duelma tall, 
stocky, swaggering, his clothes the loose, nonchalant perfec- 
tion of the season, his walk ambling, studied, lackadaisical, 
aimless, his color high, his cheeks full, his eyes a little 
vacuous, his mind acquiescing in a sort of genial, incon- 
sequential way to every auery and thought that was put to 
him. The younger of the two sons of Auguste Duelma, 
banker, promoter, multimillionaire, he would come into a 
fortune estimated roughly at between six and eight millions. 
At the Haggertys' the year before he had hung about her in 
an aimless fashion. 

Mrs. Batjer studied Berenice curiously for a moment, 
then returned to her needlework. "I've asked him down 
over this week-end," she suggested. 

"Yes?" queried Berenice, sweetly. "Are there others?" 

"Of course," assented Mrs. Batjer, remotely. "Kilmer 
doesn't interest you, I presume." 

Berenice smiled enigmatically. 

"You remember Clarissa Faulkner, don't you, Bevy?" 
pursued Mrs. Batjer. "She married Romulus Garrison." 

"Perfectly. Where is she now?" 

"They have leased the Chateau Brieul at Ars for the 
winter. Romulus is a fool, but Clarissa is so clever. You 
know she writes that she is holding a veritable court there 
this season. Half the smart set of Paris and London are 
dropping in. It is so charming for her to be able to do 
those things now. Poor dear! At one time I was quite 
troubled over her." 

Without giving any outward sign Berenice did not fail to 
gather the full import of the analogy. It was all true. One 
must begin early to take thought of one's life. She suffered 
a disturbing sense of duty. Kilmer Duelma arrived at noon 
Friday with six types of bags, a special valet, and a pre- 
posterous enthusiasm for polo and hunting (diseases lately 
acquired from a hunting set in the Berkshires). A cleverly 
contrived compliment supposed to have emanated from 
Miss Fleming and conveyed to him with tact by Mrs. 
Batjer brought him ambling into Berenice's presence sug- 
gesting a Sunday drive to Saddle Rock. 

"Haw! haw! You know, I'm delighted to see you again. 
Haw! haw! It's been an age since I've seen the Haggertys. 



We missed you after you left. Haw! haw! I did, you know. 
Since I saw you I have taken up polo three r 'ponies with 
me all the time now haw! haw! a regular stable nearly." 

Berenice strove valiantly to retain a serene interest. 
Duty was in her mind, the Chateau Brieul, the winter 
court of Clarissa Garrison, some first premonitions of the 
flight of time. Yet the drive was a bore, conversation a 
burden, the struggle to respond titanic, impossible. When 
Monday came she fled, leaving three days between that and 
a week-end at Morristown. Mrs. Batjer who read straws 
most capably sighed. Her own Corscaden was not much 
beyond his money, but life must be lived and the ambitious 
must inherit wealth or gather it wisely. Some impossible 
scheming silly would soon collect Duelma, and then She 
considered Berenice a little difficult. 

Berenice could not help piecing together the memory of 
this incident with her mother's recent appeal in behalf of 
Lieutenant Braxmar. A great, cloying, disturbing, dis- 
integrating factor in her life was revealed by the dawning 
discovery that she and her mother were without much 
money, that aside from her lineage she was in a certain 
sense an interloper in society. There were never rumors of 
great wealth in connection with her no flattering whispers 
or public notices regarding her station as an heiress. All 
the smug minor manikins of the social world were on the 
qui vive for some cotton-headed doll of a girl with an endless 
bank-account. By nature sybaritic, an intense lover of 
art fabrics, of stately functions, of power and success in 
every form, she had been dreaming all this while of a great 
soul-freedom and art-freedom under some such circum- 
stances as the greatest individual wealth of the day, and 
only that, could provide. Simultaneously she had vaguely 
cherished the idea that if she ever found some one who 
was truly fond of her, and whom she could love or even 
admire intensely some one who needed her in a deep, 
sincere way she would give herself freely and gladly. 
Yet who could it be? She had been charmed by Braxmar, 
but her keen, analytic intelligence required some one 
harder, more vivid, more ruthless, some one who would 
appeal to her as an immense force. Yet she must be 
conservative, she must play what cards she had to win. 



During his summer visit at Narragansett Cowperwood 
had not been long disturbed by the presence of Braxmar, 
for, having received special orders, the latter was compelled 
to hurry away to Hampton Roads. But the following 
November, forsaking temporarily his difficult affairs in 
Chicago for New York and the Carter apartment in Central 
Park South, Cowperwood again encountered the Lieuten- 
ant, who arrived one evening brilliantly arrayed in full 
official regalia in order to escort Berenice to a ball. A high 
military cap surmounting his handsome face, his epaulets 
gleaming in gold, the lapels of his cape thrown back to re- 
veal a ;handsome red silken lining, his sword clanking by 
his side, he seemed a veritable singing flame of youth. 
Cowperwood, caught in the drift of circumstance age, 
unsuitableness, the flaring counter-attractions of romance 
and vigor fairly writhed in pain. 

Berenice was so beautiful in a storm of diaphanous cling- 
ing garments. He stared at them from an adjacent room, 
where he pretended to be reading, and sighed. Alas, how 
was his cunning and foresight even his to overcome the 
drift of life itself? How was he to make himself appealing 
to youth? Braxmar had the years, the color, the bearing. 
Berenice seemed to-night, as she prepared to leave, to be 
fairly seething with youth, hope, gaiety. He arose after 
a few moments and, giving business as an excuse, hurried 
away. But it was only to sit in his own rooms in a neigh- 
boring hotel and meditate. The logic of the ordinary man 
under such circumstances, compounded of the age-old no- 
tions of chivalry, self-sacrifice, duty to higher impulses, and 
the like, would have been to step aside in favor of youth, to 
give convention its day, and retire in favor of morality and 
virtue. Cowperwood saw things in no such moralistic or 
altruistic light. "I satisfy myself," had ever been his 
motto, and under that, however much he might sympa- 
thize with Berenice in love or with love itself, he was not 
content to withdraw until he was sure that the end of hope 
for him had really come. There had been moments between 
him and Berenice little approximations toward intimacy 
which had led him to believe that by no means was she 
seriously opposed to him. At the same time this business 
of the Lieutenant, so Mrs. Carter confided to him a little 



later, was not to be regarded lightly. While Berenice 
might not care so much, obviously Braxmar did. 

" Ever since he has been away he has been storming her 
with letters/' she remarked to Cowperwood, one afternoon. 
"I don't think he is the kind that can be made to take 
no for an answer." 

"A very successful kind," commented Cowperwood, dryly. 

Mrs. Carter was eager for advice in the matter. Braxmar 
was a man of parts. She knew his connections. He 
would inherit at least six hundred thousand dollars at his 
father's death, if not more. What about her Louisville 
record? Supposing that should come out later? Would 
it not be wise for Berenice to marry, and have the danger 
over with ? 

"It is a problem, isn't it?" observed Cowperwood, calmly. 
"Are you sure she's in love?" 

"Oh, I wouldn't say that, but such things so easily turn 
into love. I have never believed that Berenice could be 
swept off her feet by any one she is so thoughtful but she 
knows she has her own way to make in the world, and 
Mr. Braxmar is certainly eligible. I know his cousins, the 
Clifford Porters, very well." 

Cowperwood knitted his brows. He was sick to his soul 
with this worry over Berenice. He felt that he must have 
her, even at the cost of inflicting upon her a serious social 
injury. Better that she should surmount it with him than 
escape it with another. It so happened, however, that the 
final grim necessity of acting on any such idea was spared 

Imagine a dining-room in one of the principal hotels of 
New York, the hour midnight, after an evening at the 
opera, to which Cowperwood, as host, had invited Berenice, 
Lieutenant Braxmar, and Mrs. Carter. He was now play- 
ing the role of disinterested host and avuncular mentor. 
His attitude toward Berenice, meditating, as he was, a 
course which should be destructive to Braxmar, was gentle, 
courteous, serenely thoughtful. Like a true Mephistopheles 
he was waiting, surveying Mrs. Carter and Berenice, who 
were seated in front chairs clad in such exotic draperies as 
opera-goers affect Mrs. Carter in pale-lemon silk and 
diamonds; Berenice in purple and old-rose, with a jeweled 
15 449 


comb in her hair. The Lieutenant in his dazzling uniform 
smiled and talked blandly, complimented the singers, 
whispered pleasant nothings to Berenice, descanted at odd 
moments to Cowperwood on naval personages who hap- 
pened to be present. Coming out of the opera and driving 
through blowy, windy streets to the Waldorf, they took the 
table reserved for them, and Cowperwood, after consulting 
with regard to the dishes and ordering the wine, went back 
reminiscently to the music, which had been "La Boheme." 
The death of Mimi and the grief of Rodolph, as voiced by 
the splendid melodies of Puccini, interested him. 

"That makeshift studio world may have no connection 
with the genuine professional artist, but it's very repre- 
sentative of life," he remarked. 

"I don't know, I'm sure," said Braxmar, seriously. 
"All I know of Bohemia is what I have read in books 
Trilby, for instance, and " He could think of no other, 
and stopped. "I suppose it is that way in Paris." 

He looked at Berenice for confirmation and to win a smile. 

Owing to her mobile and sympathetic disposition, she 
had during the opera been swept from period to period by 
surges of beauty too gay or pathetic for words, but clearly 
comprehended of the spirit. Once when she had been lost 
in dreamy contemplation, her hands folded on her knees, 
her eyes fixed on the stage, both Braxmar and Cowperwood 
had studied her parted lips and fine profile with common 
impulses of emotion and enthusiasm. Realizing after the 
mood was gone that they had been watching her, Bere- 
nice had continued the pose for a moment, then had waked 
as from a dream with a sigh. This incident now came back 
to her as well as her feeling in regard to the opera generally. 

"It is very beautiful," she said; "I do not know what 
to say. People are like that, of course. It is so much 
better than just dull comfort. Life is really finest when 
it's tragic, anyhow." 

She looked at Cowperwood, who was studying her; then 
at Braxmar, who saw himself for the moment on the 
captain's bridge of a battle-ship commanding in time of 
action. To Cowperwood came back many of his principal 
moments of difficulty. Surely his life had been sufficiently 
dramatic to satisfy her. 



"I don't think I care so much for it," interposed Mrs. 
Carter. "One gets tired of sad happenings. We have 
enough drama in real life." 

Cowperwood and Braxmar smiled faintly. Berenice 
looked contemplatively away. The crush of diners, the 
clink of china and glass, the bustling to and fro of waiters, 
and the strumming of the orchestra diverted her somewhat, 
as did the nods and smiles of some entering guests who 
recognized Braxmar and herself, but not Cowperwood. 

Suddenly from a neighboring door, opening from the 
men's cafe and grill, there appeared the semi-intoxicated 
figure of an ostensibly swagger society man, his clothing 
somewhat awry, an opera-coat hanging loosely from one 
shoulder, a crush-opera-hat dangling in one hand, his eyes 
a little bloodshot, his under lip protruding slightly and 
defiantly, and his whole visage proclaiming that devil-may- 
care, superior, and malicious aspect which the drunken rake 
does not so much assume as achieve. He looked sullenly, 
uncertainly about; then, perceiving Cowperwood and his 
party, made his way thither in the half-determined, half- 
inconsequential fashion of one not quite sound after his 
cups. When he was directly opposite Cowperwood's table 
the cynosure of a number of eyes he suddenly paused 
as if in recognition, and, coming over, laid a genial and yet 
condescending hand on Mrs. Carter's bare shoulder. 

"Why, hello, Hattie!" he called, leeringly and jeeringly. 
"What are you doing down here in New York ? You haven't 
given up your business in Louisville, have you, eh, old 
sport? Say, lemme tell you something. I haven't had 
a single decent girl since you left not one. If you open 
a house down here, let me know, will you ?" 

He bent over her smirkingly and patronizingly the while 
he made as if to rummage in his white waistcoat pocket for 
a card. At the same moment Cowperwood and Braxmar, 
realizing quite clearly the import of his words, were on 
their feet. While Mrs. Carter was pulling and struggling 
back from the stranger, Braxmar's hand (he being the 
nearest) was on him, and the head waiter and two assistants 
had appeared. 

"What is the trouble here? What has he done?" they 


Meanwhile the intruder, leering contentiously at them 
all, was exclaiming in very audible tones: "Take your 
hands off. Who are your What the devil have you 

fot to do with this? Don't you think I know what 
'm about? She knows me don't you, Hattie? That's 
Hattie Starr, of Louisville ask her! She kept one of the 
swellest - - ever run in Louisville. What do you people 
want to be so upset about? I know what I'm doing. 
She knows me." 

He not only protested, but contested, and with some 
vehemence. Cowperwood, Braxmar, and the waiters form- 
ing a cordon, he was shoved and hustled out into the lobby 
and the outer entranceway, and an officer was called. 

"This man should be arrested," Cowperwood protested, 
vigorously, when the latter appeared. "He has grossly 
insulted lady guests of mine. He is drunk and disorderly, 
and I wish to make that charge. Here is my card. Will 
you let me know where to come?" He handed it over, 
while Braxmar, scrutinizing the stranger with military care, 
added: "I should like to thrash you within an inch of your 
life. If you weren't drunk I would. If you are a gentle- 
man and have a card I want you to give it to me. I want 
to talk to you later." He leaned over and presented a cold, 
hard face to that of Mr. Beales Chadsey, of Louisville, 

"Tha's all right, Captain," leered Chadsey, mockingly. 
"I got a card. No harm done. Here you are. You c n 
see me any time you want Hotel Buckingham, Fifth 
Avenue and Fiftieth Street. I got a right to speak to any- 
body I please, where I please, when I please. See ?" 

He fumbled and protested while the officer stood by 
ready to take him in charge. Not rinding a card, he added: 

"Tha's all right. Write it down. Beales Chadsey, 
Hotel Buckingham, or Louisville, Kentucky. See me any 
time you want to. Tha's Hattie Starr. She knows me. 
I couldn't make a mistake about her not once in a million. 
Many's the night I spent in her house." 

Braxmar was quite ready to lunge at him had not the 
officer intervened. 

Back in the dining-room Berenice and her mother were 
sitting, the latter quite flustered, pale, distrait, horribly 



taken aback by far too much distressed for any convinc- 
ing measure of deception. 

"Why, the very idea!" she was saying. "That dreadful 
man! How terrible! I never saw him before in my life." 

Berenice, disturbed and nonplussed, was thinking of the 
familiar and lecherous leer with which the stranger had 
addressed her mother the horror, the shame of it. Could 
even a drunken man, if utterly mistaken, be so defiant, 
so persistent, so willing to explain ? What shameful things 
had she been hearing? 

"Come, mother," she said, gently, and with dignity; 
"never mind, it is all right. We can go home at once. 
You will feel better when you are put of here." 

She called a waiter and asked him to say to the gentle- 
men that they had gone to the women's dressing-room. 
She pushed an intervening chair out of the way and gave 
her mother her arm. 

"To think I should be so insulted," Mrs. Carter mumbled 
on, "here in a great hotel, in the presence of Lieutenant 
Braxmar and Mr. Cowperwood! This is too dreadful. 
Well, I never." 

She half whimpered as she walked; and Berenice, sur- 
veying the room with dignity, a lofty superiority in her 
face, led solemnly forth, a strange, lacerating pain about 
her heart. What was at the bottom of these shame- 
ful statements? Why should this drunken roisterer have 
selected her mother, of all other women in the dining-room, 
for the object of these outrageous remarks? Why should 
her mother be stricken, so utterly collapsed, if there were 
not some truth in what he had said? It was very strange, 
very sad, very grim, very horrible. What would that gos- 
siping, scandal-loving world of which she knew so much 
say to a scene like this? For the first time in her life the 
import and horror of social ostracism flashed upon her. 

The following morning, owing to a visit paid to the 
Jefferson Market Police Court by Lieutenant Braxmar, 
where he proposed, if satisfaction were not immediately 
guaranteed, to empty cold lead into Mr. Beales Chadsey's 
stomach, the following letter on Buckingham stationery 
was written and sent to Mrs. Ira George Carter 36 Cen- 
tral Park South: 




Last evening, owing to a drunken debauch, for which I have 
no satisfactory or suitable explanation to make, I was the un- 
fortunate occasion of an outrage upon your feelings and those of 
your daughter and friends, for which I wish most humbly to 
apologize. I cannot tell you how sincerely I regret whatever I 
said or did, which I cannot now clearly recall. My mental atti- 
tude when drinking is both contentious and malicious, and while 
in this mood and state I was the author of statements which I 
know to be wholly unfounded. In my drunken stupor I mistook 
you for a certain notorious woman of Louisville why, I have not 
the slightest idea. For this wholly shameful and outrageous 
conduct I sincerely ask your pardon beg your forgiveness. 
I do not know what amends I can make, but anything you may 
wish to suggest I shall gladly do. In the mean while I hope you 
will accept this letter in the spirit in which it is written and as 
a slight attempt at recompense which I know can never fully 
be made. Very sincerely, 


At the same time Lieutenant Braxmar was fully aware 
before this letter was written or sent that the charges 
implied against Mrs. Carter were only too well founded. 
Beales Chadsey had said drunk what twenty men in all 
sobriety and even the police at Louisville would corroborate. 
Chadsey had insisted on making this clear to Braxmar be- 
fore writing the letter. 



BERENICE, perusing the apology from Beales Chadsey, 
which her mother very much fagged and weary 
handed her the next morning, thought that it read like the 
overnight gallantry of some one who was seeking to make 
amends without changing his point of view. Mrs. Carter 
was too obviously self-conscious. She protested too much. 
Berenice knew that she could find out for herself if she 
chose, but would she choose? The thought sickened her, 
and yet who was she to judge too severely? 

Cowperwood came in bright and early to put as good 
a face on the matter as he could. He explained how he 
and Braxmar had gone to the police station to make a 
charge; how Chadsey, sobered by arrest, had abandoned 
his bravado and humbly apologized. When viewing the 
letter handed him by Mrs. Carter he exclaimed: 

"Oh yes. He was very glad to promise to write that 
if we would let him off. Braxmar seemed to think it was 
necessary that he should. I wanted the judge to impose 
a fine and let it go at that. He was drunk, and that's all 
there was to it." 

He assumed a very unknowing air when in the presence 
of Berenice and her mother, but when alone with the latter 
his manner changed completely. 

" Brazen it out," he commanded. "It doesn't amount to 
anything. Braxmar doesn't believe that this man really 
knows anything. This letter is enough to convince Berenice. 
Put a good face on it; more depends on your manner than 
on anything else. You're much too upset. That won't 
do at all; you'll tell the whole story that way." 

At the same time he privately regarded this incident as 
a fine windfall of chance in all likelihood the one thing 



which would serve to scare the Lieutenant away. Out- 
wardly, however, he demanded effrontery, assumption; 
and Mrs. Carter was somewhat cheered, but when she was 
alone she cried. Berenice, coming upon her accidentally 
and finding her eyes wet, exclaimed: 

"Oh, mother, please don't be foolish. How can you act 
this way? We had better go up in the country and rest 
a little while if you are so unstrung/' 

Mrs. Carter protested that it was merely nervous re- 
action, but to Berenice it seemed that where there was so 
much smoke there must be some fire. 

Her manner in the aftermath toward Braxmar was 
gracious, but remote. He called the next day to say how 
sorry he was, and to ask her to a new diversion. She was 
sweet, but distant. In so far as she was concerned it was 
plain that the Beales Chadsey incident was closed, but she 
did not accept his invitation. 

"Mother and I are planning to go to the country for 
a few days," she observed, genially. "I can't say just 
when we shall return, but if you are still here we shall 
meet, no doubt. You must be sure and come to see us." 
She turned to an east court-window, where the morning sun 
was gleaming on some flowers in a window-box, and began 
to pinch off a dead leaf here and there. 

Braxmar, full of the tradition of American romance, 
captivated by her vibrant charm, her poise and superiority 
under the circumstances, her obvious readiness to dismiss 
him, was overcome, as the human mind frequently is, by a 
riddle of the spirit, a chemical reaction as mysterious to its 
victim as to one who is its witness. Stepping forward with 
a motion that was at once gallant, reverent, eager, uncon- 
scious, he exclaimed: 

"Berenice! Miss Fleming! Please don't send me away 
like this. Don't leave me. It isn't anything I have done, 
is it? I am mad about you. I can't bear to think that 
anything that has happened could make any difference 
between you and me. I haven't had the courage to tell 
you before, but I want to tell you now. I have been in love 
with you from the very first night I saw you. You are 
such a wonderful girl! I don't feel that I deserve you, 
but I love you. I love you with all the honor and force in 



me. I admire and respect you. Whatever may or may 
not be true, it is all one and the same to me. Be my wife, 
will you? Marry me, please! Oh, I'm not fit to be the 
lacer of your shoes, but I have position and I'll make a 
name for myself, I hope. Oh, Berenice!" He extended his 
arms in a dramatic fashion, not outward, but downward, 
stiff and straight, and declared: "I don't know what I 
shall do without you. Is there no hope for me at all?" 

An artist in all the graces of sex histrionic, plastic, 
many-faceted Berenice debated for the fraction of a 
minute what she should do and say. She did not love the 
Lieutenant as he loved her by any means, and somehow this 
discovery concerning her mother shamed her pride, sug- 
gesting an obligation to save herself in one form or another, 
which she resented bitterly. She was sorry for his tactless 
proposal at this time, although she knew well enough the 
innocence and virtue of the emotion from which it sprung. 

"Really, Mr. Braxmar," she replied, turning on him with 
solemn eyes, "you mustn't ask me to decide that now. 
I know how you feel. I'm afraid, though, that I may have 
been a little misleading in my manner. I didn't mean to be. 
I'm quite sure you'd better forget your interest in me for 
the present anyhow. I could only make up my mind in one 
way if you should insist. I should have to ask you to 
forget me entirely. I wonder if you can see how I feel 
how it hurts me to say this?" 

She paused, perfectly poised, yet quite moved really, as 
charming a figure as one would have wished to see part 
Greek, part Oriental contemplative, calculating. 

In that moment, for the first time, Braxmar realized that 
he was talking to some one whom he could not comprehend 
really. She was strangely self-contained, enigmatic, more 
beautiful perhaps because more remote than he had ever 
seen her before. In a strange flash this young American 
saw the isles of Greece, Cytherea, the lost Atlantis, Cyprus, 
and its Paphian shrine. His eyes burned with a strange, 
comprehending luster; his color, at first high, went pale. 

"I can't believe you don't care for me at all, Miss 
Berenice," he went on, quite strainedly. "I felt you did 
care about me. But here," he added, all at once, with 
a real, if summoned, military force, "I won't bother you. 



You do understand me. You know how I feel. I won't 
change. Can't we be friends, anyhow?" 

He held out his hand, and she took it, feeling now that 
she was putting an end to what might have been an idyllic 

"Of course we can," she said. "I hope I shall see you 
again soon." 

After he was gone she walked into the adjoining room and 
sat down in a wicker chair, putting her elbows on her knees 
and resting her chin in her hands. What a denouement to 
a thing so innocent, so charming! And now he was gone. 
She would not see him any more, would notwant to see him 
not much, anyhow. Life had sad, even ugly facts. Oh 
yes, yes, and she was beginning to perceive them clearly. 

Some two days later, when Berenice had brooded and 
brooded until she could endure it no longer, she finally 
went to Mrs. Carter and said: "Mother, why don't you 
tell me all about this Louisville matter so that I may really 
know? I can see something is worrying you. Can't you 
trust me? I am no longer a child by any means, and I am 
your daughter. It may help me to straighten things out, 
to know what to do." 

Mrs. Carter, who had always played a game of lofty 
though loving motherhood, was greatly taken aback by this 
courageous attitude. She flushed and chilled a little; 
then decided to lie. 

"I tell you there was nothing at all," she declared, 
nervously and pettishly. "It is all an awful mistake. 
I wish that dreadful man could be punished severely for 
what he said to me. To be outraged and insulted this way 
before my own child!" 

"Mother," questioned Berenice, fixing her with those 
cool, blue eyes, "why don't you tell me all about Louis- 
ville? You and I shouldn't have things between us. 
Maybe I can help you." 

All at once Mrs. Carter, realizing that her daughter was 
no longer a child nor a mere social butterfly, but a woman 
superior, cool, sympathetic, with intuitions much deeper 
than her own, sank into a heavily flowered wing-chair be- 
hind her, and, seeking a small pocket-handkerchief with 
one hand, placed the other over her eyes and began to cry. 



"I was so driven, Bevy, I didn't know which way to 
turn. Colonel Gillis suggested it. I wanted to keep you 
and Rolfe in school and give you a chance. It isn't true 
anything that horrible man said. It wasn't anything 
like what he suggested. Colonel Gillis and several others 
wanted me to rent them bachelor quarters, and that's the 
way it all came about. It wasn't my fault; I couldn't help 
myself, Bevy." 

"And what about Mr. Cowperwood ?" inquired Berenice 
curiously. She had begun of late to think a great deal 
about Cowperwood. He was so cool, deep, dynamic, in a 
way resourceful, like herself. 

"There's nothing about him," replied Mrs. Carter, look- 
ing up defensively. Of all her men friends she best liked 
Cowperwood. He had never advised her to evil ways or 
used her house as a convenience to himself alone. "He 
never did anything but help me out. He advised me to 
give up my house in Louisville and come East and devote 
myself to looking after you and Rolfe. He offered to help 
me until you two should be able to help yourselves, and so 
I came. Oh, if I had only not been so foolish so afraid of 
life! But your father and Mr. Carter just ran through 
everything. ' 

She heaved a deep, heartfelt sigh. 

"Then we really haven't anything at all, have we, 
mother property or anything else?" 

Mrs. Carter shook her head, meaning no. 

"And the money we have been spending is Mr. Cow- 


Berenice paused and looked out the window over the 
wide stretch of park which it commanded. Framed in it 
like a picture were a small lake, a hill of trees, with a 
Japanese pagoda effect in the foreground. Over the hill 
were the yellow towering walls of a great hotel in Central 
Park West. In the street below could be heard the jingle 
of street-cars. On a road in the park could be seen a mov- 
ing line of pleasure vehicles society taking an airing in 
the chill November afternoon. 

"Poverty, ostracism," she thought. And should she 
marry rich? Of course, if she could. And whom should 



she marry? The Lieutenant? Never. He was really 
not masterful enough mentally, and he had witnessed her 
discomfiture. And who, then? Oh, the long line of sillies, 
light-weights, rakes, ne'er-do-wells, who, combined with 
sober, prosperous, conventional, muddle-headed oofs, con- 
stituted society. Here and there, at far jumps, was a real 
man, but would he be interested in her if he knew the whole 
truth about her? 

"Have you broken with Mr. Braxmar?" asked her 
mother, curiously, nervously, hopefully, hopelessly. 

"I haven't seen him since," replied Berenice, lying con- 
servatively. "I don't know whether I shall or not. I 
want to think." She arose. "But don't you mind, 
mother. Only I wish we had some other way of living 
besides being dependent on Mr. Cowperwood." 

She walked into her boudoir, and before her mirror be- 
an to dress for a dinner to which she had been invited, 
it was Cowperwood's money that had been sustaining 
them all during the last few years; and she had been so 
liberal with his means so proud, vain, boastful, superior. 
And he had only fixed her with those inquiring, examining 
eyes. Why? But she did not need to ask herself why. 
She knew now. What a game he had been playing, and 
what a silly she had been not to see it. Did her mother in 
any way suspect? She doubted it. This queer, para- 
doxical, impossible world ! The eyes of Cowperwood burned 
at her as she thought. 



FOR the first time in her life Berenice now pondered 
seriously what she could do. She thought of mar- 
riage, but decided that instead of sending for Braxmar or 
taking up some sickening chase of an individual even less 
satisfactory it might be advisable to announce in a simple 
social way to her friends that her mother had lost her 
money, and that she herself was now compelled to take up 
some form of employment the teaching of dancing, per- 
haps, or the practice of it professionally. She suggested 
this calmly to her mother one day. Mrs. Carter, who had 
been long a parasite really, without any constructive 
monetary notions of real import, was terrified. To think 
that she and "Bevy," her wonderful daughter, and by 
reaction her son, should come to anything so humdrum and 
prosaic as ordinary struggling life, and after all her dreams. 
She sighed and cried in secret, writing Cowperwood a 
cautious explanation and asking him to see her privately 
in New York when he returned. 

" Don't you think we had best go on a little while longer?" 
she suggested to Berenice. "It just wrings my heart to 
think that you, with your qualifications, should have to 
stoop to giving dancing-lessons. We had better do almost 
anything for a while yet. You can make a suitable mar- 
riage, and then everything will be all right for you. It 
doesn't matter about me. I can live. But you Mrs. 
Carter's strained eyes indicated the misery she felt. 
Berenice was moved by this affection for her, which she knew 
to be genuine; but what a fool her mother had been, 
what a weak reed, indeed, she was to lean upon! 

Cowperwood, when he conferred with Mrs. Carter, 
insisted that Berenice was quixotic, nervously awry, to 



wish to modify her state, to eschew society and invalidate 
her wondrous charm by any sort of professional life. By 
prearrangement with Mrs. Carter he hurried to Pocono 
at a time when he knew that Berenice was there alone. 
Ever since the Beales Chadsey incident she had been 
evading him. 

When he arrived, as he did about one in the afternoon 
of a crisp January day, there was snow on the ground, 
and the surrounding landscape was bathed in a crystalline 
light that gave back to the eye endless facets of luster 
jewel, beams that cut space with a flash. The automobile 
had been introduced by now, and he rode in a touring-car 
of eighty horse-power that gave back from its dark-brown, 
varnished surface a lacquered light. In a great fur coat 
and cap of round, black lamb's-wool he arrived at the door. 

"Well, Bevy," he exclaimed, pretending not to know of 
Mrs. Carter's absence, "how are you? How's your mother? 
Is she in?" 

Berenice fixed him with her cool, steady-gazing eyes, as 
frank and incisive as they were daring, and smiled him an 
equivocal welcome. She wore a blue denim painter's apron, 
and a palette of many colors glistened under her thumb. 
She was painting and thinking thinking being her special 
occupation these days, and her thoughts had been of Brax- 
mar, Cowperwood, Kilmer Duelma, a half-dozen others, 
as well as of the stage, dancing, painting. Her life was 
in a melting-pot, as it were, before her; again it was like a 
disarranged puzzle, the pieces of which might be fitted 
together into some interesting picture if she could but 

"Do come in," she said. "It's cold, isn't it? Well, 
there's a nice fire here for you. No, mother isn't here. 
She went down to New York. I should think you might 
have found her at the apartment. Are you in New York 
for long?" 

She was gay, cheerful, genial, but remote. Cowperwood 
felt the protective gap that lay between him and her. It 
had always been there. He felt that, even though she 
might understand and like him, yet there was something 
convention, ambition, or some deficiency on his part 
that was keeping her from him, keeping her eternally dis- 



tant. He looked about the room, at the picture she was at- 
tempting (a snow-scape, of a view down a slope), at the 
view itself which he contemplated from the window, at 
some dancing sketches she had recently executed and hung 
on the wall for the time being lovely, short tunic motives. 
He looked at her in her interesting and becoming painter's 
apron. "Well, Berenice," he said, "always the artist 
first. It is your world. You will never escape it. These 
things are beautiful." He waved an ungloved hand in 
the direction of a choric line. "It wasn't your mother I 
came to see, anyhow. It is you. I had such a curious 
letter from her. She tells me you want to give up society 
and take to teaching or something of that sort. I came 
because I wanted to talk to you about that. Don't you 
think you are acting rather hastily?" 

He spoke now as though there were some reason entirely 
disassociated from himself that was impelling him to this 
interest in her.' 

Berenice, brush in hand, standing by her picture, gave 
him a look that was cool, curious, defiant, equivocal. 

"No, I don't think so," she replied, quietly. "You 
know how things have been, so I may speak quite frankly. 
I know that mother's intentions were always of the best." 
Her mouth moved with the faintest touch of sadness. 
"Her heart, I am afraid, is better than her head. As for 
your motives, I am satisfied to believe that they have been 
of the best also. I know that they have been, in fact it 
would be ungenerous of me to suggest anything else." 
(Cowperwood's fixed eyes, it seemed to her, had moved 
somewhere in their deepest depths.) "Yet I don't feel we 
can go on as we have been doing. We have no money of 
our own. Why shouldn't I do something ? What else can 
I really do?" 

She paused, and Cowperwood gazed at her, quite still. 
In her informal, bunchy painter's apron, and with her blue 
eyes looking out at him from beneath her loose red hair, it 
seemed to him she was the most perfect thing he had ever 
known. Such a keen, fixed, enthroned mind. She was so 
capable, so splendid, and, like his own, her eyes were un- 
afraid. Her spiritual equipoise was undisturbed. 

"Berenice," he said, quietly, "let me tell you something. 



You did me the honor just now to speak of my motives in 
giving your mother money as of the best. They were 
from my own point of view the best I have ever known. 
I will not say what I thought they were in the beginning. 
I know what they were now. I am going to speak quite 
frankly with you, if you will let me, as long as we are here 
together. I don't know whether you know this or not, 
but when I first met your mother I only knew by chance 
that she had a daughter, and it was of no particular interest 
to me then. I went to her house as the guest of a financial 
friend of mine who admired her greatly. From the first I 
myself admired her, because I found her to be a lady to the 
manner born she was interesting. One day I happened 
to see a photograph of you in her home, and before I 
could mention it she put it away. Perhaps you recall the 
one. It is in profile taken when you were about sixteen." 

"Yes, I remember," replied Berenice, simply as quietly 
as though she were hearing a confession. 

"Well, that picture interested me intensely. I inquired 
about you, and learned all I could. After that I saw 
another picture of you, enlarged, in a Louisville photog- 
rapher's window. I bought it. It is in my office now 
my private office in Chicago. You are standing by a 

"I remember," replied Berenice, moved, but uncertain. 

"Let me tell you a little something about my life, will 
you? It won't take long. I was born in Philadelphia. 
My family had always belonged there. I have been in the 
banking and street-railway business all my life. My first 
wife was a Presbyterian girl, religious, conventional. She 
was older than I by six or seven years. I was happy for 
a while five or six years. We had two children both still 
living. Then I met my present wife. She was younger 
than myself at least ten years, and very good-looking. 
She was in some respects more intelligent than my first 
wife at least less conventional, more generous, I thought. 
I fell in love with her, and when I eventually left Phila- 
delphia I got a divorce and married her. I was greatly in 
love with her at the time. I thought she was an ideal mate 
for me, and I still think she has many qualities which make 
her attractive. But my own ideals in regard to women 



have all the time been slowly changing. I have come to 
see, through various experiments, that she is not the ideal 
woman for me at all. She does not understand me. I don't 
pretend to understand myself, but it has occurred to me 
that there might be a woman somewhere who would under- 
stand me better than I understand myself, who would see 
the things that I don't see about myself, and would like me, 
anyhow. I might as well tell you that I have been a lover 
of women always. There is just one ideal thing in this 
world to me, and that is the woman that I would like to 

"I should think it would make it rather difficult for any 
one woman to discover just which woman you would like 
to have?" smiled Berenice, whimsically. Cowperwood was 

"It would, I presume, unless she should chance to be the 
very one woman I am talking about," he replied, impres- 

"I should think she would have her work cut out for 
her under any circumstances," added Berenice, lightly, but 
with a touch of sympathy in her voice. 

"I am making a confession," replied Cowperwood, seri- 
ously and a little heavily. "I am not apologizing for my- 
self. The women I have known would make ideal wives 
for some men, but not for me. Life has taught me that 
much. It has changed me." 

"And do you think the process has stopped by any 
means?" she replied, quaintly, with that air of superior 
banter which puzzled, fascinated, defied him. 

"No, I will not say that. My ideal has become fixed, 
though, apparently. I have had it for a number of years 
now. It spoils other matters for me. There is such a 
thing as an ideal. We do have a pole-star in physics." 

As he said this Cowperwood realized that for him he was 
making a very remarkable confession. He had come here 
primarily to magnetize her and control her judgment. As 
a matter of fact, it was almost the other way about. She 
was almost dominating him. Lithe, slender, resourceful, 
histrionic, she was standing before him making him explain 
himself, only he did not see her so much in that light as 
in the way of a large, kindly, mothering intelligence which 



could see, feel, and understand. She would know how it 
was, he felt sure. He could make himself understood if 
he tried. Whatever he was or had been, she would not take 
a petty view. She could not. Her answers thus far guar- 
anteed as much. 

"Yes," she replied, "we do have a pole-star, but you do 
not seem able to find it. Do you expect to find your ideal 
in any living woman?" 

"I have found it," he answered, wondering at the in- 
genuity and complexity of her mind and of his own, for 
that matter of all mind indeed. Deep below deep it lay, 
staggering him at times by its fathomless reaches. "I hope 
you will take seriously what I am going to say, for it will 
explain so much. When I began to be interested in your 
picture I was so because it coincided with the ideal I had in 
mind the thing that you think changes swiftly. That 
was nearly seven years ago. Since then it has never 
changed. When I saw you at your school on Riverside 
Drive I was fully convinced. Although I have said nothing, 
I have remained so. Perhaps you think I had no right 
to any such feelings. Most people would agree with you. 
I had them and do have them just the same, and it ex- 
plains my relation to your mother. When she came to me 
once in Louisville and told me of her difficulties I was glad 
to help her for your sake. That has been my reason ever 
since, although she does not know that. In some respects, 
Berenice, your mother is a little dull. All this while I have 
been in love with you intensely so. As you stand there 
now you seem to me amazingly beautiful the ideal I have 
been telling you about. Don't be disturbed; I sha'n't 
press any attentions on you." (Berenice had moved very 
slightly. She was concerned as much for him as for herself. 
His power was so wide, his power so great. She could not 
help taking him seriously when he was so serious.) "I have 
done whatever I have done in connection with you and your 
mother because I have been in love with you and because 
I wanted you to become the splendid thing I thought you 
ought to become. You have not known it, but you are 
the cause of my building the house on Fifth Avenue the 
principal reason. I wanted to build something worthy of 
you. A dream? Certainly. Everything we do seems 



to have something of that quality. Its beauty, if there 
is any, is due to you. I made it beautiful thinking of 

He paused, and Berenice gave no sign. Her first impulse 
had been to object, but her vanity, her love of art, her love 
of power all were touched. At the same time she was 
curious now as to whether he had merely expected to take 
her as his mistress or to wait until he could honor her as 
his wife. 

"I suppose you are wondering whether I ever expected 
to marry you or not," he went on, getting the thought 
out of her mind. "I am no different from many men in 
that respect, Berenice. I will be frank. I wanted you in 
any way that I could get you. I was living in the hope all 
along that you would fall in love with me as I had with 
you. I hated Braxmar here, not long ago, when he ap- 
peared on the scene, but I could never have thought of 
interfering. I was quite prepared to give you up. I have 
envied every man I have ever seen with you young and 
old. I have even envied your mother for being so close 
to you when I could not be. At the same time I have 
wanted you to have everything that would help you in 
any way. I did not want to interfere with you in case you 
found some one whom you could truly love if I knew that 
you could not love me. There is the whole story outside 
of anything you may know. But it is not because of this 
that I came to-day. Not to tell you this." 

He paused, as if expecting her to say something, though 
she made no comment beyond a questioning "Yes?" 

"The thing that I have come to say is that I want you 
to go on as you were before. Whatever you may think of 
me or of what I have just told you, I want you to believe 
that I am sincere and disinterested in what I am telling 
you now. My dream in connection with you is not quite 
over. Chance might make me eligible if you should 
happen to care. But I want you to go on and be happy, 
regardless of me. I have dreamed, but I dare say it has 
been a mistake. Hold your head high you have a right 
to. Be a lady. Marry any one you really love. I will 
see that you have a suitable marriage portion. I love you, 
Berenice, but I will make it a fatherly affection from now 



on. When I die I will put you in my will. But go on now 
in the spirit you were going before. I really can't be happy 
unless I think you are going to be." 

He paused, still looking at her, believing for the time 
being what he said. If he should die she would find her- 
self in his will. If she were to go on and socialize and 
seek she might find some one to love, but also she might 
think of him more kindly before she did so. What would 
be the cost of her as a ward compared to his satisfaction and 
delight in having her at least friendly and sympathetic and 
being in her good graces and confidence? 

Berenice, who had always been more or less interested in 
him, temperamentally biased, indeed, in his direction be- 
cause of his efficiency, simplicity, directness, and force, was 
especially touched in this instance by his utter frankness 
and generosity. She might question his temperamental 
control over his own sincerity in the future, but she could 
scarcely question that at present he was sincere. More- 
over, his long period of secret love and admiration, the 
thought of so powerful a man dreaming of her in this fash- 
ion, was so flattering. It soothed her troubled vanity and 
shame in what had gone before. His straightforward con- 
fession had a kind of nobility which was electric, moving. 
She looked at him as he stooa there, a little gray about the 
temples the most appealing ornament of some men to 
some women and for the life of her she could not help 
being moved by a kind of tenderness, sympathy, mothering 
affection. Obviously he did need the woman his attitude 
seemed to show that he needed, some woman of culture, 
spirit, taste, amorousness; or, at least, he was entitled to 
dream of her. As he stood before her he seemed a kind of 
superman, and yet also a bad boy handsome, powerful, 
hopeful, not so very much older than herself now, impelled 
by some blazing internal force which harried him on and 
on. How much did he really care for her? How much 
could he? How much could he care for any one? Yet 
see all he had done to interest her. What did that mean? 
To say all this? To do all this? Outside was his car 
brown and radiant in the snow. He was the great Frank 
Algernon Cowperwood, of Chicago, and he was pleading 
with her, a mere chit of a girl, to be kind to him, not to put 



him out of her life entirely. It touched her intellect, her 
pride, her fancy. 

Aloud she said: "I like you better now. I really believe 
in you. I never did, quite, before. Not that I think I 
ought to let you spend your money on me or mother I 
don't. But I admire you. You make me. I understand 
how it is, I think. I know what your ambitions are. I 
have always felt that I did, in part. But you mustn't talk 
to me any more now. I want to think. I want to think 
over what you have said. I don't know whether I can 
bring myself to it or not." (She noticed that his eyes 
seemed to move somehow in their deepest depths again.) 
" But we won't talk about it any more at present." 

"But, Berenice," he added, with a real plea in his voice, 
"I wonder if you do understand. I have been so lonely 
I am" 

"Yes, I do," she replied, holding out her hand. "We 
are going to be friends, whatever happens, from now on, 
because I really like you. You mustn t ask me to decide 
about the other, though, to-day. I can't do it. I don't 
want to. I don't care to." 

"Not when I would so gladly give you everything when 
I need it so little?" 

"Not until I think it out for myself. I don't think so, 
though. No," she replied, with an air. "There, Mr. Guar- 
dian Father," she laughed, pushing his hand away. 

Cowperwood's heart bounded. He would have given 
millions to take her close in his arms. As it was he smiled 

"Don't you want to jump in and come to New York 
with me? If your mother isn't at the apartment you could 
stop at the Netherland." 

"No, not to-day. I expect to be in soon. I will let 
you know, or mother will." 

He bustled out and into the machine after a moment of 
parley, waving to her over the purpling snow of the even- 
ing as his machine tore eastward, planning to make New 
York by dinner-time. If he could just keep her in this 
friendly, sympathetic attitude. If he only could! 



WHATEVER his momentary satisfaction in her 
friendly acceptance of his confession, the uncertain 
attitude of Berenice left Cowperwood about where he was 
before. By a strange stroke of fate Braxmar, his young 
rival, had been eliminated, and Berenice had been made 
to see him, Cowperwood, in his true colors of love and of 
service for her. Yet plainly she did not accept them at his 
own valuation. More than ever was he conscious of the 
fact that he had fallen in tow of an amazing individual, one 
who saw life from a distinct and peculiar point of view and 
who was not to be bent to his will. That fact more than 
anything else for her grace and beauty merely em- 
blazoned it caused him to fall into a hopeless infatuation. 
He said to himself over and over, "Well, I can live with- 
out her if I must," but at this stage the mere thought was 
an actual stab in his vitals. What, after all, was life, 
wealth, fame, if you couldn't have the woman you wanted 
love, that indefinable, unnamable coddling of the spirit 
which the strongest almost more than the weakest crave? 
At last he saw clearly, as within a chalice-like nimbus, 
that the ultimate end of fame, power, vigor was beauty, and 
that beauty was a compound of the taste, the emotion, the 
innate culture, passion, and dreams of a woman like 
Berenice Fleming. That was it: that was IT. And 
beyond was nothing save crumbling age, darkness, silence. 
In the mean time, owing to the preliminary activity and 
tact of his agents and advisers, the Sunday newspapers 
were vying with one another in describing the wonders of 
his new house in New York its cost, the value of its 
ground, the wealthy citizens with whom the Cowperwoods 
would now be neighbors. There were double-column 



pictures of Aileen and Cowperwood, with articles indicating 
them as prospective entertainers on a grand scale who 
would unquestionably be received because of their tre- 
mendous wealth. As a matter of fact, this was purely news- 
paper gossip and speculation. While the general columns 
made news and capital of his wealth, special society columns, 
which dealt with the ultra-fashionable, ignored him entirely. 
Already the machination of certain Chicago social figures in 
distributing information as to his past was discernible in 
the attitude of those clubs, organizations, and even churches, 
membership in which constitutes a form of social passport 
to better and higher earthly, if not spiritual, realms. His 
emissaries were active enough, but soon found that their 
end was not to be gained in a day. Many were waiting 
locally, anxious enough to get in, and with social equip- 
ments which the Cowperwoods could scarcely boast. After 
being blackballed by one or two exclusive clubs, seeing 
his application for a pew at St. Thomas's quietly pigeon- 
holed for the present, and his invitations declined by sev- 
eral multimillionaires whom he met in the course of com- 
mercial transactions, he began to feel that his splendid 
home, aside from its final purpose as an art-museum, could 
be of little value. 

At the same time Cowperwood's financial genius was con- 
stantly being rewarded by many new phases of materiality, 
chiefly by an offensive and defensive alliance he was now 
able to engineer between himself and the house of Haeckel- 
heimer, Gotloeb & Co. Seeing the iron manner in which he 
had managed to wrest victory out of defeat after the first 
seriously contested election, these gentlemen had experi- 
enced a change of heart and announced that they would 
now gladly help finance any new enterprise which Cowper- 
wood might undertake. Among many other financiers, 
they had heard of his triumph in connection with the fail- 
ure of American Match. 

"Dot must be a right cleffer man, dot Cowperwood," 
Mr. Gotloeb told several of his partners, rubbing his hands 
and smiling. "I shouldt like to meet him." 

And so Cowperwood was manoeuvered into the giant 
banking office, where Mr. Gotloeb extended a genial 



"I hear much of Chicawkgo," he explained, in his semi- 
German, semi-Hebraic dialect, "but almozd more uff you. 
Are you goink to swallow up all de street-railwaiss unt 
elefated roats out dere?" 

Cowperwood smiled his most ingenuous smile. 

"Why? Would you like me to leave a few for you?" 

"Not dot exzagly, but I might not mint sharink in some 
ufF dem wit you. ' 

"You can join with me at any time, Mr. Gotloeb, as you 
must know. The door is always very, very wide open 
for you." 

"I musd look into dot some more. It loogs very prom- 
ising to me. I am gladt to meet you." 

The great external element in Cowperwood's financial 
success and one which he himself had foreseen from the 
very beginning was the fact that Chicago was developing 
constantly. What had been when he arrived a soggy, 
messy plain strewn with shanties, ragged sidewalks, a 
higgledy-piggledy business heart, was now truly an astound- 
ing metropolis which had passed the million mark in popu- 
lation and which stretched proud and strong over the 
greater part of Cook County. Where once had been a 
meager, makeshift financial section, with here and there 
only a splendid business building or hotel or a public 
office of some kind, there were now canon-like streets 
lined with fifteen and even eighteen story office buildings, 
from the upper stories of which, as from watch-towers, 
might be surveyed the vast expanding regions of simple 
home life below. Farther out were districts of mansions, 
parks, pleasure resorts, great worlds of train-yards and 
manufacturing areas. In the commercial heart of this 
world Frank Algernon Cowperwood had truly become a 
figure of giant significance. How wonderful it is that men 
grow until, like colossi, they bestride the world, or, like 
banyan-trees, they drop roots from every branch and are 
themselves a forest a forest of intricate commercial life, 
of which a thousand material aspects are the evidence. 
His street-railway properties were like a net the parasite 
Gold Thread linked together as they were, and draining 
two of the three important "sides" of the city. 

In 1886, when he had first secured a foothold, they had 



been capitalized at between six and seven millions (every 
device for issuing a dollar on real property having been ex- 
hausted). To-day, under his management, they were capi- 
talized at between sixty and seventy millions. The majority 
of the stock issued and sold was subject to a financial de- 
vice whereby twenty per cent, controlled eighty per cent., 
Cowperwood holding that twenty per cent, and borrowing 
money on it as hypothecated collateral. In the case of the 
West Side corporation, a corporate issue of over thirty 
millions had been made, and these stocks, owing to the 
tremendous carrying power of the roads and the swelling 
traffic night and morning of poor sheep who paid their 
hard-earned nickels, had a market value which gave the 
road an assured physical value of about three times the 
sum for which it could have been built. The North Chicago 
company, which in 1886 had a physical value of little more 
than a million, could not now be duplicated for less than 
seven millions, and was capitalized at nearly fifteen millions. 
The road was valued at over one hundred thousand dollars 
more per mile than the sum for which it could actually 
have been replaced. Pity the poor groveling hack at the 
bottom who has not the brain-power either to understand 
or to control that which his very presence and necessities 

These tremendous holdings, paying from ten to twelve 
per cent, on every hundred-dollar share, were in the con- 
trol, if not in the actual ownership, of Cowperwood. 
Millions in loans that did not appear on the books of the 
companies he had converted into actual cash, wherewith 
he had bought houses, lands, equipages, paintings, govern- 
ment bonds of the purest gold value, thereby assuring him- 
self to that extent of a fortune vaulted and locked, abso- 
lutely secure. After much toiling and moiling on the part 
of his overworked legal department he had secured a 
consolidation, under the title of the Consolidated Traction 
Company of Illinois, of all outlying lines, each having 
separate franchises and capitalized separately, yet operated 
by an amazing hocus-pocus of contracts and agreements 
in single, harmonious union with all his other properties. 
The North and West Chicago companies he now proposed 
to unite into a third company to be called the Union Trac- 



don Company. By taking up the ten and twelve per cent, 
issues of the old North and West companies and giving two 
for one of the new six-per-cent. one-hundred-dollar-share 
Union Traction stocks in their stead, he could satisfy the 
current stockholders, who were apparently made some- 
what better off thereby, and still create and leave for him- 
self a handsome margin of nearly eighty million dollars. 
With a renewal of his franchises for twenty, fifty, or one 
hundred years he would have fastened on the city of 
Chicago the burden of yielding interest on this somewhat 
fictitious value and would leave himself personally worth 
in the neighborhood of one hundred millions. 

This matter of extending his franchises was a most 
difficult and intricate business, however. It involved 
overcoming or outwitting a recent and very treacherous 
increase of local sentiment against him. This had been oc- 
casioned by various details which related to his elevated 
roads. To the two lines already built he now added a 
third property, the Union Loop. This he prepared to con- 
nect not only with his own, but with other outside elevated 
properties, chief among which was Mr. Schryhart's South 
Side "L." He would then farm out to his enemies the 
privilege of running trains on this new line. However un- 
willingly, they would be forced to avail themselves of the 
proffered opportunity, because within the region covered 
by the new loop was the true congestion here every one 
desired to come either once or twice during the day or night. 
By this means Cowperwood would secure to his property a 
paying interest from the start. 

This scheme aroused a really unprecedented antagonism 
in the breasts of Cowperwood's enemies. By the Arneel- 
Hand-Schryhart contingent it was looked upon as nothing 
short of diabolical. The newspapers, directed by such men 
as Haguenin/Hyssop, Ormonde Ricketts, and Truman Les- 
lie MacDonald (whose father was now dead, and whose 
thoughts as editor of the Inquirer were almost solely di- 
rected toward driving Cowperwood out of Chicago), be- 
gan to shout, as a last resort, in the interests of democ- 
racy. Seats for everybody (on Cowperwood's lines), no 
more straps in the rush hours, three-cent fares for working- 
men, morning and evening, free transfers from all of Cow- 



perwood's lines north to west and west to north, twenty per 
cent, of the gross income of his lines to be paid to the city. 
The masses should be made cognizant of their individual 
rights and privileges. Such a course, while decidedly 
inimical to Cowperwood's interests at the present time, 
and as such strongly favored by the majority of his oppo- 
nents, had nevertheless its disturbing elements to an ultra- 
conservative like Hosmer Hand. 

"I don't know about this, Norman," he remarked to 
Schryhart, on one occasion. "I don't know about this. 
It's one thing to stir up the public, but it's another to make 
them forget. This is a restless, socialistic country, and 
Chicago is the very hotbed and center of it. Still, if it 
will serve to trip him up I suppose it will do for the 

C resent. The newspapers can probably smooth it all over 
iter. But I don't know." 

Mr. Hand was of that order of mind that sees socialism 
as a horrible importation of monarchy-ridden Europe. 
Why couldn't the people be satisfied to allow the strong, 
intelligent, God-fearing men of the community to arrange 
things for them? Wasn't that what democracy meant? 
Certainly it was he himself was one of the strong. He 
could not help distrusting all this radical palaver. Still, 
anything to hurt Cowperwood anything. 

Cowperwood was not slow to realize that public senti- 
ment was now in danger of being thoroughly crystallized 
against him by newspaper agitation. Although his fran- 
chises would not expire the large majority of them before 
January I, 1903, yet if things went on at this rate it would 
be doubtful soon whether ever again he would be able to 
win another election by methods legitimate or illegitimate. 
Hungry aldermen and councilmen might be venal and 
greedy enough to do anything he should ask, provided he 
was willing to pay enough, but even the thickest-hided, the 
most voracious and corrupt politician could scarcely with- 
stand the searching glare of publicity and the infuriated 
rage of a possibly aroused public opinion. By degrees this 
last, owing to the untiring efforts of the newspapers, was 
being whipped into a wild foam. To come into council at 
this time and ask for a twenty-year extension of franchises 
not destined to expire for seven years was too much. It 



could not be done. Even suborned councilmen would 
be unwilling to undertake it just now. There are some 
things which even politically are impossible. 

To make matters worse, the twenty-year-franchise limit 
was really not at all sufficient for his present needs. In 
order to bring about the consolidation of his North and 
West surface lines, which he was now proposing and on the 
strength of which he wished to issue at least two hundred 
million dollars' worth of one-hundred-dollar-six-per-cent. 
shares in place of the seventy million dollars current of 
ten and twelve per cents., it was necessary for him to secure 
a much more respectable term of years than the brief one 
now permitted by the state legislature, even providing that 
this latter could be obtained. 

"Feeble are not ferry much indrested in tees short-time 
frangizes," observed Mr. Gotloeb once, when Cowperwood 
was talking the matter over with him. He wanted Haeckel- 
heimer & Co. to underwrite the whole issue. "Dey are so 
insigure. Now if you couldt get, say, a frangize for fifty 
or one hunnert years or something like dot your stocks 
wouldt go off like hot cakes. I know where I couldt dis- 
pose of fifty million dollars off dem in Germany alone." 

He was most unctuous and pleading. 

Cowperwood understood this quite as well as Gotloeb, 
if not better. He was not at all satisfied with the thought 
of obtaining a beggarly twenty-year extension for his giant 
schemes when cities like Philadelphia, Boston, New York, 
and Pittsburg were apparently glad to grant their cor- 
porations franchises which would not expire for ninety-nine 
years at the earliest, and in most cases were given in perpe- 
tuity. This was the kind of franchise favored by the great 
moneyed houses of New York and Europe, and which Got- 
loeb, and even Addison, locally, were demanding. 

"It is certainly important that we get these franchises 
renewed for fifty years," Addison used to say to him, and 
it was seriously and disagreeably true. 

The various lights of Cowperwood's legal department, 
constantly on the search for new legislative devices, were 
not slow to grasp the import of the situation. It was 
not long before the resourceful Mr. Joel Avery appeared 
with a suggestion. 



"Did you notice what the state legislature of New York 
is doing in connection with the various local transit prob- 
lems down there?" asked this honorable gentleman of 
Cowperwood, one morning, ambling in when announced 
and seating himself in the great presence. A half-burned 
cigar was between his fingers, and a little round felt hat 
looked peculiarly rakish above his sinister, intellectual, 
constructive face and eyes. 

"No, I didn't," replied Cowperwood, who had actually 
noted and pondered upon the item in question, but who did 
not care to say so. "I saw something about it, but I 
didn't pay much attention to it. What of it?" 

"Well, it plans to authorize a body of four or five men 
one branch in New York, one in Buffalo, I presume to 
grant all new franchises and extend old ones with the 
consent of the various local communities involved. They 
are to fix the rate of compensation to be paid to the state 
or the city, and the rates of fare. They can regulate trans- 
fers, stock issues, and all that sort of thing. I was thinking 
if at any time we find this business of renewing the fran- 
chises too uncertain here we might go into the state legis- 
lature and see what can be done about introducing a public- 
service commission of that kind into this state. We are 
not the only corporation that would welcome it. Of 
course, it would be better if there were a general or special 
demand for it outside of ourselves. It ought not to 
originate with us." 

He stared at ^Cowperwood heavily, the latter returning a 
reflective gaze. 

"I'll think it over," he said. "There may be something 
in that." 

Henceforth the thought of instituting such a commission 
never left Cowperwood's mind. It contained the germ of 
a solution the possibility of extending his franchises for 
fifty or even a hundred years. 

This plan, as Cowperwood was subsequently to discover, 
was a thing more or less expressly forbidden by the state 
constitution of Illinois. The latter provided that no special 
or exclusive privilege, immunity, or franchise whatsoever 
should be granted to any corporation, association, or indi- 
vidual. Yet, "What is a little matter like the constitution 



between friends, anyhow?" some one had already asked. 
There are fads in legislation as well as dusty pigeonholes 
in which phases of older law are tucked away and forgotten. 
Many earlier ideals of the constitution-makers had long 
since been conveniently obscured or nullified by decisions, 
appeals to the federal government, appeals to the state 
government, communal contracts, and the like fine cob- 
webby figments, all, but sufficient, just the same, to render 
inoperative the original intention. Besides, Cowperwood 
had but small respect for either the intelligence or the self- 
protective capacity of such men as constituted the rural 
voting element of the state. From his lawyers and from 
others he had heard innumerable droll stories of life in the 
state legislature, and the state counties and towns on 
the bench, at the rural huskings where the state elections 
were won, in country hotels, on country roads and farms. 
"One day as I was getting on the train at Petunkey," old 
General Van Sickle, or Judge Dickensheets, or ex-Judge 
Avery would begin and then would follow some amazing 
narration of rural immorality or dullness, or political or 
social misconception. Of the total population of the state 
at this time over half were in the city itself, and these he 
had managed to keep in control. For the remaining 
million, divided between twelve small cities and an agri- 
cultural population, he had small respect. What did this 
handful of yokels amount to, anyhow? dull, frivoling, 
barn-dancing boors. 

The great state of Illinois a territory as large as Eng- 
land proper and as [fertile as Egypt, bordered by a great 
lake and a vast river, and with a population of over 
two million free-born Americans would scarcely seem a 
fit subject for corporate manipulation and control. Yet a 
more trade-ridden commonwealth might not have been 
found anywhere at this time within the entire length and 
breadth of the universe. Cowperwood personally, though 
contemptuous of the bucolic mass when regarded as indi- 
viduals, had always been impressed by this great com- 
munity of his election. Here had come Marquette and 
Joliet, La Salle and Hennepin, dreaming a way to the 
Pacific. Here Lincoln and Douglas, antagonist and pro- 
tagonist of slavery argument, had contested; here had 



arisen "Joe" Smith, propagator of that strange American 
dogma of the Latter-Day Saints. What a state, Cowper- 
wood sometimes thought; what a figment of the brain, and 
yet how wonderful ! He had crossed it often on his way to 
St. Louis, to Memphis, to Denver, and had been touched 
by its very simplicity the small, new wooden towns, so 
redolent of American tradition, prejudice, force, and illusion. 
The white-steepled church, the lawn-faced, tree-shaded 
village streets, the long stretches of flat, open country where 
corn grew in serried rows or where in winter the snow 
bedded lightly it all reminded him a little of his own 
father and mother, who had been in many respects suited 
to such a world as this. Yet none the less did he hesitate to 
press on the measure which was to adjust his own future, to 
make profitable his issue of two hundred million dollars' 
worth of Union Traction, to secure him a fixed place in the 
financial oligarchy of America and of the world. 

The state legislature at this time was ruled over by a 
small group of wire-pulling, pettifogging, corporation- 
controlled individuals who came up from the respective 
towns, counties, and cities of the state, but who bore the 
same relation to the communities which they represented 
and to their superiors and equals in and out of the legis- 
lative halls* at Springfield that men do to such allies any- 
where in any given held. Why do we call them pettifog- 
ging and dismiss them? Perhaps they were pettifogging, 
but certainly no more so than any other shrewd rat or 
animal that burrows its way onward and shall we say 
upward? The deepest controlling principle which ani- 
mated these individuals was the oldest and first, that of 
self-preservation. Picture, for example, a common occur- 
rence that of Senator John H. Southack, conversing with, 
perhaps, Senator George Mason Wade, of Gallatin County, 
behind a legislative door in one of the senate conference 
chambers toward the close of a session Senator Southack, 
blinking, buttonholing his well-dressed colleague and draw- 
ing very near; Senator Wade, curious, confidential, ex- 
pectant (a genial, solid, experienced, slightly paunchy but 
well-built Senator Wade and handsome, too). 

"You know, George, I told you there would be some- 
thing eventually in the Quincy water-front improvement 



if it ever worked out. Well, here it is. Ed Truesdale 
was in town yesterday." (This with a knowing eye, as 
much as to say, "Mum's the word.") "Here's five hun- 
dred; count it." 

A quick flashing out of some green and yellow bills from 
a vest pocket, a light thumbing and counting on the part 
of Senator Wade. A flare of comprehension, approval, 
gratitude, admiration, as though to signify, "This is some- 
thing like." "Thanks, John. I had pretty near forgot 
all about it. Nice people, eh? If you see Ed again give 
him my regards. When that Bellville contest comes up 
let me know." 

Mr. Wade, being a good speaker, was frequently in 
request to stir up the populace to a sense of pro or con in 
connection with some legislative crisis impending, and it 
was to some such future opportunity that he now pleas- 
antly referred. O life, O politics, O necessity, O hunger, 
O burning human appetite and desire on every hand! 

Mr. Southack was an unobtrusive, pleasant, quiet man 
of the type that would usually be patronized as rural and 
pettifogging by men high in commercial affairs. He was 
none the less well fitted to his task, a capable and diligent 
beneficiary and agent. He was well dressed, middle-aged, 
only forty-five cool, courageous, genial, with eyes that 
were material, but not cold or hard, and a light, springy, 
energetic step and manner. A holder of some C. W. & 
I. R.R. shares, a director of one of his local county banks, 
a silent partner in the Effingham Herald, he was a personage 
in his district, one much revered by local swains. Yet a 
more game and rascally type was not to be found in all 
rural legislation. 

It was old General Van Sickle who sought out Southack, 
having remembered him from his earlier legislative days. 
It was Avery who conducted the negotiations. Primarily, 
in all state scheming at Springfield, Senator Southack 
was supposed to represent the C. W. I., one of the great 
trunk-lines traversing the state, and incidentally connect- 
ing Chicago with the South, West, and East. This road, 
having a large local mileage and being anxious to extend 
its franchises in Chicago and elsewhere, was deep in state 
politics. By a curious coincidence it was mainly financed 



by Haeckelheimer, Gotloeb & Co., of New York, though 
Cowperwood's connection with that concern was not as 
yet known. Going to Southack, who was the Republican 
whip in the senate, Avery proposed that he, in conjunction 
with Judge Dickensheets and one Gilson Bickel, counsel 
for the C. W. I., should now undertake to secure sufficient 
support in the state senate and house for a scheme intro- 
ducing the New York idea of a public-service commission 
into the governing machinery of the state of Illinois. 
This measure, be it noted, was to be supplemented by 
one ;very interesting and important little proviso to the 
effect that all franchise-holding corporations should here- 
by, for a period of fifty years from the date of the enact- 
ment of the bill into law, be assured of all their rights, 
privileges, and immunities including franchises, of course. 
This was justified on the ground that any such radical 
change as that involved in the introduction of a public- 
service commission might disturb the peace and well-being 
of corporations with franchises which still had years to run. 

Senator Southack saw nothing very wrong with this idea, 
though he naturally perceived what it was all about and 
whom it was truly designed to protect. 

"Yes," he said, succinctly, "I see the lay of that land, 
but what do I get out of it?" 

"Fifty thousand dollars for yourself if it's successful, 
ten thousand if it isn't provided you make an honest 
effort; two thousand dollars apiece for any of the boys 
who see fit to help you if we win. Is that perfectly satis- 

"Perfectly," replied Senator Southack. 




APUBLIC-service-commission law might, ifso facto, 
have been quietly passed at this session, if the ar- 
bitrary franchise -ex tend ing proviso had not been in- 
troduced, and this on the thin excuse that so novel a 
change in the working scheme of the state government 
might bring about hardship to some. This redounded 
too obviously to the benefit of one particular corpora- 
tion. The newspaper men as thick as flies about the 
halls of the state capitol at Springfield, and essentially 
watchful and loyal to their papers were quick to sense the 
true state of affairs. Never were there such hawks as news- 
paper men. These wretches (employed by sniveling, mud- 
snouting newspapers of the opposition) were not only in 
the councils of politicians, in the pay of rival corporations, 
in the confidence of the governor, in the secrets of the sena- 
tors and local representatives, but were here and there in 
one another's confidence. A piece of news a rumor, a 
dream, a fancy whispered by Senator Smith to Senator 
Jones, or by Representative Smith to Representative Jones, 
and confided by him in turn to Charlie White, of the 
Globf, or Eddie Burns, of the Democrat, would in turn be 
communicated to Robert Hazlitt, of the Press, or Harry 
Emonds, of the Transcript. 

All at once a disturbing announcement in one or other 
of the papers, no one knowing whence it came. Neither 
Senator Smith nor Senator Jones had told any one. No 
word of the confidence imposed in Charlie White or 
Eddie Burns had ever been breathed. But there you 
were the thing was in the papers, the storm of inquiry, 
opinion, opposition was on. No one knew, no one was to 



blame, but it was on, and the battle had henceforth to be 
fought in the open. 

Consider also the governor who presided at this time in 
the executive chamber at Springfield. He was a strange, 
tall, dark, osseous man who, owing to the brooding, melan- 
choly character of his own disposition, had a checkered 
and a somewhat sad career behind him. Born in Sweden, 
he had been brought to America as a child, and allowed 
or compelled to fight his own way upward under all the 
grinding aspects of poverty. Owing to an energetic and 
indomitable temperament, he had through years of law 
practice and public labors of various kinds built up for 
himself a following among Chicago Swedes which amounted 
to adoration. He had been city tax-collector, city sur- 
veyor, district attorney, and for six or eight years a state 
circuit judge. In all these capacities he had manifested 
a tendency to do the right as he saw it and play fair 
qualities which endeared him to the idealistic. Honest, 
and with a hopeless brooding sympathy for the miseries of 
the poor, he had as circuit judge, and also as district 
attorney, rendered various decisions which had made him 
very unpopular with the rich and powerful decisions in 
damage cases, fraud cases, railroad claim cases, where the 
city or the state was seeking to oust various powerful rail- 
way corporations from possession of property yards, 
water-frontages, and the like, to which they had no just 
claim. At the same time the populace, reading the news 
items of his doings and hearing him speak on various and 
sundry occasions, conceived a great fancy for him. He 
was primarily soft-hearted, sweet-minded, fiery, a brilliant 
orator, a dynamic presence. In addition he was woman- 
hungry a phase which homely, sex-starved intellectuals the 
world over will understand, to the shame of a lying age, that 
because of quixotic dogma belies its greatest desire, its 
greatest sorrow, its greatest joy. All these factors turned 
an ultra-conservative element in the community against 
him, and he was considered dangerous. At the same time 
he had by careful economy and investment built up a fair- 
sized fortune. Recently, however, owing to the craze for 
sky-scrapers, he had placed much of his holdings in a some- 
what poorly constructed and therefore unprofitable office 



building. Because of this error financial wreck was 
threatening him. Even now he was knocking at the doors 
of large bonding companies for assistance. 

This man, in company with the antagonistic financial 
element and the newspapers, constituted, as regards 
Cowperwood's public - service - commission scheme, a 
triumvirate of difficulties not easy to overcome. The 
newspapers, in due time, catching wind of the true pur- 
port of the plan, ran screaming to their readers with 
the horrible intelligence. In the offices of Schryhart, 
Arneel, Hand, and Merrill, as well as in other centers of 
finance, there was considerable puzzling over the situation, 
and then a shrewd, intelligent deduction was made. 

"Do you see what he's up to, Hosmer?" inquired Schry- 
hart of Hand. "He sees that we have him scotched here in 
Chicago. As things stand now he can't go into the city 
council and ask for a franchise for more than twenty years 
under the state law, and he can't do that for three or four 
years yet, anyhow. His franchises don't expire soon 
enough. He knows that by the time they do expire we 
will have public sentiment aroused to such a point that no 
council, however crooked it may be, will dare to give him 
what he asks unless he is willing to make a heavy return 
to the city. If he does that it will end his scheme of selling 
any two hundred million dollars of Union Traction at six 
per cent. The market won't back him up. He can't pay 
twenty per cent, to the city and give universal transfers 
and pay six per cent, on two hundred million dollars, and 
everybody knows it. He has a fine scheme of making a cool 
hundred million out of this. Well, he can't do it. We 
must get the newspapers to hammer this legislative scheme 
of his to death. When he comes into the local council he 
must pay twenty or thirty per cent, of the gross receipts of 
his roads to the city. He must give free transfers from 
every one of his lines to every other one. Then we have him. 
I dislike to see socialistic ideas fostered, but it can't be 
helped. We have to do it. If we ever get him out of here 
we can hush up the newspapers, and the public will forget 
about it; at least we can hope so." 

In the mean time the governor had heard the whisper of 
"boodle" a word of the day expressive of a corrupt 



legislative fund. Not at all a small-minded man, nor in- 
volved in the financial campaign being waged against 
Cowperwood, nor inclined to be influenced mentally or 
emotionally by superheated charges against the latter, he 
nevertheless speculated deeply. In a vague way he sensed 
the dreams of Cowperwood. The charge of seducing women 
so frequently made against the street-railway magnate, so 
shocking to the yoked conventionalists, did not disturb him 
at all. Back of the onward sweep of the generations he 
himself sensed the mystic Aphrodite and her magic. He 
realized that Cowperwood had traveled fast that he was 
pressing to the utmost a great advantage in the face of 
great obstacles. At the same time he knew that the present 
street-car service of Chicago was by no means bad. Would 
he be proving unfaithful to the trust imposed on him by 
the great electorate of Illinois if he were to advantage 
Cowperwood's cause? Must he not rather in the sight of 
all men smoke out the animating causes here greed, over- 
weening ambition, colossal self-interest as opposed to the 
selflessness of a Christian ideal and of a democratic theory 
of government ? 

Life rises to a high plane of the dramatic, and hence of 
the artistic, whenever and wherever in the conflict regard- 
ing material possession there enters a conception of the 
ideal. It was this that lit forever the beacon fires of Troy, 
that thundered eternally in the horses* hoofs at Arbela 
and in the guns at Waterloo. Ideals were here at stake 
the dreams of one man as opposed perhaps to the ultimate 
dreams of a city or state or nation the grovelings and 
wallowings of a democracy slowly, blindly trying to stagger 
to its feet. In this conflict taking place in an inland 
cottage-dotted state where men were clowns and churls, 
dancing fiddlers at country fairs were opposed, as the 
governor saw it, the ideals of one man and the ideals of men. 

Governor Swanson decided after mature deliberation to 
veto the bill. Cowperwood, debonair as ever, faithful as 
ever to his logic and his conception of individuality, was 
determined that no stone should be left unturned that 
would permit him to triumph, that would carry him 
finally to the gorgeous throne of his own construction. 
Having first engineered the matter through the legislature 



by a tortuous process, fired upon at every step by the press, 
he next sent various individuals state legislators, represen- 
tatives of the C. W. & L, members of outside corporations 
to see the governor, but Swanson was adamant. He did 
not see how he could conscientiously sanction the bill. 
Finally, one day, as he was seated in his Chicago business 
office a fateful chamber located in the troublesome build- 
ing which was subsequently to wreck his fortune and which 
was the raison d'etre of a present period of care and de- 
pression enter the smug, comfortable presence of Judge 
Nahum Dickensheets, at present senior counsel of the 
North Chicago Street Railway. He was a very mountain 
of a man physically smooth-faced, agreeably clothed, hard 
and yet ingratiating of eye, a thinker, a reasoner. Swanson 
knew much of him by reputation and otherwise, although 
personally they were no more than speaking acquaintances. 

"How are you, Governor? I'm glad to see you again. 
I heard you were back in Chicago. I see by the morning 
papers that you have that Southack public-service bill up 
before you. I thought I would come over and have a few 
words with you about it if you have no objection. I've 
been trying to get down to Springfield for the last three 
weeks to have a little chat with you before you reached a 
conclusion one way or the other. Do you mind if I inquire 
whether you have decided to veto it?" 

The ex-judge, faintly perfumed, clean and agreeable, 
carried in his hand a large-sized black hand-satchel which 
he put down beside him on the floor. 

"Yes, Judge," replied Swanson, "I've practically decided 
to veto it. I can see no practical reason for supporting it. 
As I look at it now, it's specious and special, not particu- 
larly called for or necessary at this time." 

The governor talked with a slight Swedish accent, intel- 
lectual, individual. 

A long, placid, philosophic discussion of all the pros and 
cons of the situation followed. The governor was tired, 
distrait, but ready to listen in a tolerant way to more argu- 
ment along a line with which he was already fully familiar. 
He knew, of course, that Dickensheets was counsel for the 
North Chicago Street Railway Company. 

"I'm very glad to have heard what you have to say, 



Judge," finally commented the governor. I don't want 
you to think I haven't given this matter serious thought 
I have. I know most of the things that have been done 
down at Springfield. Mr. Cowperwood is an able man; I 
don't charge any more against him than I do against twenty 
other agencies that are operating down there at this very 
moment. I know what his difficulties are. I can hardly 
be accused of sympathizing with his enemies, for they cer- 
tainly do not sympathize with me. I am not even listening 
to the newspapers. This is a matter of faith in democracy 
a difference in ideals between myself and many other 
men. I haven't vetoed the bill yet. I don't say that some- 
thing may not arise to make me sign it. My present in- 
tention, unless I hear something much more favorable in 
its behalf than I have already heard, is to veto it." 

"Governor," said Dickensheets, rising, "let me thank 
you for your courtesy. I would be the last person in the 
world to wish to influence you outside the line of your 
private convictions and your personal sense of fair play. 
At the same time I have tried to make plain to you how 
essential it is, how only fair and right, that this local 
street-railway-franchise business should be removed out 
of the realm of sentiment, emotion, public passion, envy, 
buncombe, and all the other influences that are at work to 
frustrate and make difficult the work of Mr. Cowperwood. 
All envy, I tell you. His enemies are willing to sacrifice 
every principle of justice and fair play to see him eliminated. 
That sums it up.' 

"That may all be true," replied Swanson. "Just the 
same, there is another principle involved here which you 
do not seem to see or do not care to consider the right of 
the people under the state constitution to a consideration, 
a revaluation, of their contracts at the time and in the 
manner agreed upon under the original franchise. What 
you propose is sumptuary legislation; it makes null and 
void an agreement between the people and the street- 
railway companies at a time when the people have a right 
to expect a full and free consideration of this matter aside 
from state legislative influence and control. To persuade 
the state legislature, by influence or by any other means, 
to step in at this time and interfere is unfair. The proposi- 



tions involved in those bills should be referred to the peo- 
ple at the next election for approval or not, just as they see 
fit. That is the way this matter should be arranged. It 
will not do to come into the legislature and influence or 
buy votes, and then expect me to write my signature under 
the whole matter as satisfactory." 

Swanson was not heated or antipathetic. He was cool, 
firm, well-intentioned. 

Dickensheets passed his hand over a wide, high temple. 
He seemed to be meditating something some hitherto 
untried statement or course of action. 

"Well, Governor," he repeated, '*! want to thank you, 
anyhow. You have been exceedingly kind. By the way, 
I see you have a large, roomy safe here." He had picked 
up the bag he was carrying. "I wonder if I -might leave 
this here for a day or two in your care? It contains some 
papers that I do not wish to carry into the country with me. 
Would you mind locking it up in your safe and letting me 
have it when I send for it?" 

"With pleasure," replied the governor. 

He took it, placed it in lower storage space, and closed 
and locked the door. The two men parted with a genial 
hand-shake. The governor returned to his meditations, 
the judge hurried to catch a car. 

About eleven o'clock the next morning Swanson was 
still working in his office, worrying greatly over some method 
whereby he could raise one hundred thousand dollars to 
defray interest charges, repairs, and other payments, on a 
structure that was by no means meeting expenses and was 
hence a drain. At this juncture his office door opened, and 
his very youthful office-boy presented him the card of 
F. A. Cowperwood. The governor had never seen him be- 
fore. Cowperwood entered brisk, fresh, forceful. He was 
as crisp as a new dollar bill as clean, sharp, firmly 

"Governor Swanson, I believe?" 

"Yes, sir." 

The two were scrutinizing each other defensively. 

"I am Mr. Cowperwood. I come to have a very few 
words with you. I will take very little of your time. I 
do not wish to go over any of the arguments that have 



been gone over before. I am satisfied that you know all 
about them." 

"Yes, I had a talk with Judge Dickensheets yesterday." 

"Just so, Governor. Knowing all that you do, permit 
me to put one more matter before you. I know that you 
are, comparatively, a poor man that every dollar you have 
is at present practically tied in this building. I know of 
two places where you have applied for a loan of one hun- 
dred thousand dollars and have been refused because you 
haven't sufficient security to offer outside of this building, 
which is mortgaged up to its limit as it stands. The men, 
as you must know, who are fighting you are fighting me. 
I am a scoundrel because I am selfish and ambitious a 
materialist. You are not a scoundrel, but a dangerous per- 
son because you are an idealist. Whether you veto this bill 
or not, you will never again be elected Governor of Illinois 
if the people who are fighting me succeed, as they will 
succeed, in fighting you." 

Swanson's dark eyes burned illuminatively. He nodded 
his head in assent. 

"Governor, I have come here this morning to bribe you, 
if I can. I do not agree with your ideals; in the last 
analysis I do not believe that they will work. I am sure 
I do not believe in most of the things that you believe in. 
Life is different at bottom perhaps from what either you or 
I may think. Just the same, as compared with other men, 
I sympathize with you. I will loan you that one hundred 
thousand dollars and two or three or four hundred thousand 
dollars more besides if you wish. You need never pay me a 
dollar or you can if you wish. Suit yourself. In that 
black bag which Judge Dickensheets brought here yester- 
day, and which is in your safe, is three hundred thousand 
dollars in cash. He did not have the courage to mention 
it. Sign the bill and let me beat the men who are trying 
to beat me. I will support you in the future with any 
amount of money or influence that I can bring to bear in 
any political contest you may choose to enter, state or 

Cowperwood's eyes glowed like a large, genial collie's. 
There was a suggestion of sympathetic appeal in them, 
rich and deep, and, even more than that, a philosophic per- 



ception of ineffable things. Swanson arose. "You really 
don't mean to say that you are trying to bribe me openly, 
do you?" he inquired. In spite of a conventional impulse 
to burst forth in moralistic denunciation, solemnly phrased, 
he was compelled for the moment to see the other man's 
viewpoint. They were working in different directions, go- 
ing different ways, to what ultimate end ? 

"Mr. Cowperwood," continued the governor, his face 
a physiognomy out of Goya, his eye alight with a kind of 
understanding sympathy, "I suppose I ought to resent 
this, but I can't. I see your point of view. I'm sorry, 
but I can't help you nor myself. My political belief, my 
ideals, compel me to veto this bill; when I forsake these 
I am done politically with myself. I may not be elected 
governor again, but that does not matter, either. I could 
use your money, but I won't. I shall have to bid you good 

He moved toward the safe, slowly, opened it, took out 
the bag and brought it over. 

"You must take that with you," he added. 

The two men looked at each other a moment curiously, 
sadly the one with a burden of financial, political, and 
moral worry on his spirit, the other with an unconquer- 
able determination not to be worsted even in defeat. 

"Governor," concluded Cowperwood, in the most genial, 
contented, undisturbed voice, "you will live to see another 
legislature pass and another governor sign some such bill. 
It wil